Digging for Value (2 of 4) | Devotions with Dad

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Digging for Value (2 of 4)

For Dad only:

Bring God Home

 I carried a burden in my heart for my sons one day. I had seen a spirit trying to pollute our home. Although I had already spoken to the situation, I felt I had to do more about it, but did not know what. After they had gone to bed, I poured out my heart to God. He led me to pray for a while in the Spirit, interceding for them. Eventually my burden lifted and I felt freedom to worship my Jesus for hearing my concern.

The next day, neither the boys nor I said anything about the issue. Either they had forgotten or did not think it worth discussing again. I did not know if I should say anything more or just let God work. That night I happened to see my boys sitting on the couch, singing a worship song from church. They blessed my heart by just enjoying the things of God. By itself, it would not be unusual to hear someone singing in our home. This was a testimony to me from the Lord, though, that their hearts were in the right place.

That evening my boys seemed more interested than usual in just hanging out and talking with me. In every way I could see their hearts were pure before God, He had showed up and worked on the inside while I could only approach the outside.

How refreshing it is to know that I do not have to be a father all alone. God makes up the difference in what I cannot do. He knows so much better how to raise a family, and I am glad I can go to Him.

___________________

Dad, read this story with your kids:

A Cross, a Cliff

Dad looked closely at Rusty and Misty’s discovery. They pulled the long, dusty rope out of the faded backpack. Rusty coughed as some of the dust went up his nose.

“What I don’t get is what this paper means,” Rusty said, looking it over again.

CLIF EDG

SPAD DIG

CROS LEG

GOL HID

“Hmm-hmm,” Dad grunted as he fingered the wooden cross on the rope. “Read it out loud, Rusty. Maybe it will make sense if I hear you read it.”

Rusty took a deep breath, “‘Cliff edig.’ Maybe it’s one word. ‘Cliffadig.’ ‘Cliffig.’ ‘Cliffage.'”

“This is like that game Mad Gab,” Misty said. “You have to guess what the sounds mean.”

“Do you think it is even English?” Rusty asked.

Dad had wound the rope back up. He set it down on the backpack and looked over Rusty’s shoulder at the secret message. “I think it is a grocery list,” Dad said with a twinkle in his eye. “See, this is a candy bar… and–”

“Dad!” Misty demanded.

“Okay, I’m just kidding.” Dad pointed at a few letters and said, “See here. Whoever wrote this did not know how to write very well. I think we are looking at a whole list of typos. If this person really knew how to read and write they would have put down whole sentences. So we have to figure out what these misspellings really mean.”

“Wow. I thought I had a hard time spelling,” Rusty said.

Dad patted him on the shoulder to encourage him, “That’s why we work so hard at spelling, Son. Someday you may have a great message to deliver and no one will understand if you cannot write correctly.” Dad scratched his head. “What do you think the first line says?”

“Clifage?”

“You are probably close. I think this first word should be ‘cliff.’ This second one looks like the word ‘edge’ without an ‘e.’ If he wrote all this phonetically and did not know how to spell, then we have to think like him for a moment.”

“Oh, I get it,” Rusty said. “This guy writes like I would if I didn’t have any schooling.”

“Right,” Dad said with a smile, “but I am proud of how much better you have been doing.”

Misty spoke up, “So the first line says ‘Cliff edge’?”

“Yes!” Dad and Rusty said together.

“Well, let’s go!” she said.

“Hey, you’re right,” Rusty said. “This is probably talking about the cliff where we found the pack. We need to do something at the cliff edge.”

“Well, first, let’s figure out the rest of it. What is a ‘spad’?” asked Dad.

“Nothing I’ve ever heard of,” Misty answered.

“No, but this word ‘dig’ is a real word. Do you think we are supposed to dig something up?” Rusty looked up at his dad.

Dad shrugged. “Maybe. That could be why there is so much dust and dirt on the rope and the pack. This guy may have been a miner.”

“A gold miner?” Misty asked as her eyebrows went up.

“Gold?” Rusty pointed to the bottom of the page. “See, it says ‘gol.’ Do you think that is supposed to say ‘gold’?”

Dad frowned. “‘Gol hid.’ Hmm. Well, if it means gold, then this note is saying that somewhere there is gold hid.”

“Yippee!” Rusty shouted.

Misty danced up and down, “We found buried treasure!” Then she put her hand over her mouth and glanced around to see if any other campers had heard her.

“So does this mean that the gold is hid at the edge of the cliff and we have to dig it up?”

“With a guy named Spad,” Dad said with a smile.

“Dig with spad. Spad. Hey,” Rusty said, “you can dig with a ‘spade.'”

“Spade dig.” Dad stroked his chin. “I think you are right. An old miner would have called a shovel a spade. Okay, so we dig with a spade at the edge of the cliff and find gold hid. Is that what this means?”

“Let’s go!” Misty said, bouncing again.

“Why do we have to cross our legs?” Rusty said with a scowl.

“Huh?” Misty stopped bouncing for a minute.

Dad explained, “This one phrase does not seem to fit. It says ‘Cross leg.'”

“Wait!” Rusty said, “the rope! It has a cross on it.”

“I haven’t been able to figure that out,” Dad said. “Why would someone tie a cross in the middle of a rope?”

“Do we have anything to dig with?” Rusty asked.

“No, I don’t usually pack a shovel when we go on vacation,” Dad said with a grin. “But there is a park serviceman working over by the shower house. Let’s go ask him if we can borrow a shovel.”

While Dad and Rusty went to ask the worker for the tool, Misty stayed with Mom, talking none stop about the great treasure they were going to find. The guys came back soon with a short, pointy-nose shovel.

“Let’s go find our treasure,” Misty said to welcome them.

Rusty grabbed the backpack and rope, and Dad carried the shovel and secret message. As they walked to the cliff edge, Misty asked, “Is it okay if we dig on their property?”

“Sure,” Dad said, “the man said this is national forest and federally owned. They do not mind if you use some wood for a campsite or poke around a little. He just asked us to not make holes in the lawn.”

“Did you tell him about the gold?” Misty asked.

“Nope. He didn’t ask why we were digging so we didn’t bring it up.”

“Good.”

They were at the edge of the cliff now, and Dad stopped to scratch his head.

“What’s wrong?” Rusty asked.

“We cannot dig here,” Dad said, “this is solid rock.”

Rusty and Misty looked around and kicked at the hard surface. Misty’s shoulders slumped. Rusty dropped the back pack and rope and walked close to the edge by Dad. “The cave is straight down below us,” Rusty informed him.

Dad peered over the edge. I can’t see the cave, but that looks like a nice ledge down there.”

Rusty looked, too. “Cool. What a great hideout. I bet Indians used to hunt from that ledge.”

Misty walked up beside them but would not get close enough to look over the edge. “How did they get down there?”

“They could have climbed,” Dad said, putting one foot on a point in the rock edge.

“Or,” Rusty ran back and picked up the rope, “they climbed down.” He brought the rope over to the edge where Dad was looking at the clues again.

“Look at this!” Dad said. “This word ‘leg’ actually has a smudged out letter between the ‘e’ and ‘g.’ I wonder if that was the letter ‘d.’ If it was, this old miner was probably trying to tell us about that ledge down there. He just didn’t know how to spell it.”

“So we don’t have to sit cross-legged?” Misty said, wrinkling her nose.

“No, we have to cross the ledge, or–”

Rusty held up the rope and said, “Or put the cross at the ledge.”

Dad stared at him for a minute. “You’re right, I think!” Together, they let the rope down the edge of the cliff until they got to the loop on the end.

“See,” Rusty said, “the cross stops right at the ledge. That’s where we are to dig for the gold! That’s where he hid the treasure.”

“And look,” Dad put the rope loop over the pointy rock where his foot had been, “this must have been where the man anchored his rope to climb down.”

“Perfect!” Rusty said. “Let’s go.”

Dad’s hand caught his arm. “Not on that rope we don’t. It is too old and dangerous. I have an emergency tow cable in the back of the van. Let’s get that out.”

In a minute, the three of them had run to get the tow rope and returned. After anchoring the rope at the top of the cliff, Dad looped it around his waste to make a safety harness in case he slipped. He found his footing on the face of the rock wall and worked down slowly, hanging onto the rope. Fortunately the ledge was less than halfway down. Dad arrived and stood comfortably on the roomy ledge.

“What do you see?” Rusty asked from above.

“Part of the cliff wall here is solid dirt. That’s why shrubs are growing. There’s plenty of room to dig here.”

“I can tie the shovel on the old rope and lower it to you.”

“Good idea,” Dad said. When he got the shovel, Dad started digging into the loamy soil.

“Can I come down?” Rusty asked.

Dad stopped and thought for a moment. “You have to be very careful, but I think you can make it just fine.”

Rusty looped the tow rope around himself like he’d seen his father do. Slowly, he worked down the rock wall. He slipped a little just above the ledge but caught himself and landed next to Dad who steadied him.

“This is such a nice view,” Rusty said, looking across the forest.

Dad nodded and started digging again.

“You think there is really something here?”

Dad didn’t say anything. He dug and dug, making a little pile of dirt. After a few minutes, the shovel hit something tinny and hollow sounding. Rusty raised his eyebrows. Dad wiped his brow and kept digging. Soon they could see the corner of a box, then the edge of the box, and finally the whole side of the box. Dad levered against it with his shovel while Rusty tugged at it. Then Dad tugged while Rusty wiggled the shovel. The square metal box slipped out, leaving a funny looking hole where it had been.

“We found it!” Rusty shouted up to Misty.

“Woo-hoo!” she responded.

“Let’s not open it here,” Dad said. “We should wait until we get back to camp.”

______________________

 Let’s discuss it:

Who cares whether a person can spell or not?

          Others, God, yourself.

What if you do not plan to write, do you still need to know how to spell?

          Yes. Writing is as necessary as talking. If you couldn’t talk, no one could answer your questions or learn from you. If you cannot write right, you may never do business, help educate your children, or reach others with the gospel.

Does God really care about education? Isn’t it enough to just love Jesus?

          Yes, God cares. Part of loving Jesus is enjoying the wisdom and education He allows us to have.

How will good spelling help you as a worker?

          Being able to write instructions, send messages, and pass along information correctly.

 

How will good spelling help you be a good parent?

          You can teach your children.

 

How will good spelling help you be a good missionary?

          You have to send reports and communicate with those who give.

What if you are a good speller yet you have sloppy handwriting? Are you honoring God? Can others learn what you mean with slothful letters?

________________

True Treasure

Matthew 13:44-46  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  (45)  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  (46)  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Proverbs 2:1-6  My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;  (2)  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;  (3)  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;  (4)  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;  (5)  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.  (6)  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

______________

Discuss the meaning:

What would be the greatest treasure you could find? Would you sell everything to get it?

What priceless treasures do you already own?

          Salvation, Family, God, Church, Bible, etc.

Do you think others would give up everything to have what you have?

How can you share your treasures without losing them?

Role play: Your church is hosting an outreach to bring food to people and invite them to church. The same day, your city puts on a carnival. Which one would you rather go to?

Your schooling requires extra study to learn to spell and understand certain vocabulary words. You don’t think you need to know them and could probably pass the test without knowing them. What do you do? Take the easy route or glorify God?

_____________

Memory Verse

Proverbs 8:10 

Receive my instruction, and not silver;

and knowledge rather than choice gold.

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