I flew from Atlanta to London this week. I got up to the ticket desk, handed over my passport, and waited while the man behind the desk processed my details. He then tagged my suitcase, handed me my boarding pass, and wished me a good flight. It was while making my way to passport control that it hit me — where was my red passport cover? I diligently searched my carry-on but it wasn’t there. I keep my passport inside this cover, always having to remove it for officials to scan, and then put it back.
Doing an about face, I returned to the check-in desk but my red passport cover was not there. The man behind the desk said he hadn’t seen it. I could only conclude that the person behind me must have seen it where I lay it on the counter and taken it. Returning to the passport control, my steps were heavy, my heart filled with disappointment. Whoever took my red passport cover would have quickly seen it was of no monetary value, but for me, the sentimentality could not be replaced. I’ve had this red, leather, very well worn, passport cover for the whole 34 years of my travels.
If it could have talked, it could tell the stories of traveling behind what was the Iron Curtain. It could have described India, Pakistan,, pasts of Europe, and Iceland. It was with me in Russia and throughout all my days in Kyrgyzstan. Oh, how my disappointment grew as I sat waiting to board my flight. It was a treasure to me — a sentimental one — but a treasure nonetheless.
That’s when my thoughts took a sudden turn. The words of Jesus echoed in my brain, “For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” Matthew 6:21 I contemplated the most wonderful treasure available to us — God’s own Word. His words of love and instruction, guidance and correction — what a treasure for how to know God, how to live with Him forever, how to know His perfect will for our lives, how to relate to those around us, how to live happy, and peaceful. It’s all there, those nuggets of great treasure and, we can’t lose it. When we store its truths in our hearts, it’s a wonderful treasure that is always with us.
Then, another passage of treasure came to my mind. It’s found in Psalm 119:103-106:
“How sweet are Your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your wonderful laws.”
A peace then, God’s own peace, settled in my heart, beginning to soothe and replace my disappointment over my lost passport cover. In the smallest or the biggest disappointments of life — Father cares and speaks His treasures into all wounded places. Let’s not ignore His treasures — let’s store them in our hearts.