Treasure Hunt: Following God’s Flow

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Contributed by Julie Atwood.

“ ‘Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up.’ ” With a smile, Cheryl continues reading today’s entry from her copy of the devotional Jesus Calling. “ ‘Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace.’ ”

The pace of this morning’s Treasure Hunt appears a bit slow. True, we have a turnout of ten Treasure Hunters. We receive multiple clues—enough to yield two separate locations, both Firewheel Mall in Garland and the Bay View Marina in Rockwall. And our respective clues of kidney (received by Sharla, Darry, and Bonnye) and thyroid (received by Dustin) yield two Treasures before we leave our table at Tom Thumb.

The first of these is Cheryl herself, who asks us to pray for a kidney for her friend Carolyn. Then Jennifer—with Cheryl’s clue of a canvas cap perched on her head—shares, “I could use some prayer for my thyroid.” And as we all lay hands on her while Dustin intercedes aloud, I can feel heat rising from her arm . . . even past her actual skin.

But afterwards?

When Sharon, Dustin, Sharla, and I head out to the Bay View Marina, we find little human life across the expanse of open space (a clue of Sharon’s husband Larry). We drive past a lake where diamonds forged from sunlight dance across the rippling surface. “Well, Sharla, there’s your water and waves,” Sharon observes, turning to Sharla in the seat next to her. Lifting one hand from her steering wheel, she points toward the line where lake meets sky. Where white birds wheel overhead or float along the hazy horizon. “And those birds out there might be your white ducks.”

“Though they could be gulls or herons,” Dustin puts in from the back seat.

As we continue along the lake shore we find a few parked cars, a bar whose doors are locked during daylight hours, and a boat dock whose access is denied to non-boaters. But no human beings . . . except for one plump caramel-skinned lady. Clad in a silky purple dress and high heels, she’s clipping at a rapid pace along the lake shore. Not long after we’ve swept past her, Dustin shares, “She seemed highlighted to me. Let’s speak to her, ask if she needs a ride.”

But when Sharon spins a U-turn, pulls up alongside her to ask our question, the runner only grins and shakes her head as she slows for us. “Naw, I’m just out for a jog. Gettin’ my morning exercise.” And with a cheery wave, she speeds up once again to a brisk trot.

“Does this kind of thing happen often?” Sharla asks as we’re heading back out from the marina. “Where you get a lot of clues, but then find no people to pray for?”

Dustin speaks up. “Yeah, it happens that way sometimes. But often on those days God shows us He just wants us to play or fellowship together. Or simply trust Him enough to follow wherever He leads . . . whether or not we understand His reasons.”

“Let’s go meet up with the others at Firewheel,” Sharon suggests. “They’ve surely found a lot of clues by now.”

But about twenty minutes later, when we find the knot of our fellow Treasure Hunters huddled in front of Auntie Annie’s Bakery, Cheryl shakes her head at our question. “It’s been pretty quiet around here too.”

Nevertheless, she does have a story to share. “Outside Nestle’s Tollhouse, we found Sue. She was wearing Dustin’s clue of red pants, along with red ear spacers and circle-shaped earrings—your clue of circles, Julie—and sunglasses shaped like hearts.” (Checking my clue sheet, I notice that Darry, Jennifer, Sharon, and I all received the clue of heart.) “Sue needed prayer for her daughter’s health, and she was very willing and thankful to receive it.”

Then, in only the next moment . . .

Plopped on a bench behind the bakery, we spot young Tina and her small son Jason, munching on fresh slices of bakery bread (Jennifer’s clue). Tina’s swathed in a scarf swirled with my color clues of pink and purple. When Cheryl approaches them as her next potential Treasures, little Jason speaks up. “My dog Boo is sick.” Concern fills his chocolate eyes as he gazes up at her from beneath the bill of his canvas cap. “My mom says he’s got heart and kidney failure.” Thoughtfully he adds, “My other dog already died.”

With Larry and me interceding, Cheryl wraps the hopeful child up in prayers. “Jason, Jesus really cares about both you and your dog,” she reassures him afterwards. “He loves you very much. While we know He can heal her if that is His plan for her, if He doesn’t He will be there to comfort you. He is your Friend, you know.”

Jason nods that he does understand and, with a misted smile, his mom nods in agreement.

When Cheryl shares the moment afterwards with the group, Sharon realizes Jason matches her specific clue of broken heart. Cheryl nods in agreement. “Yes, I know God led me to him for a very special reason . . . to share with him the love of Jesus, how He can heal broken hearts.”

Moments later she and her team meet and pray for Stan, who flashes us a grin beneath his shock of flaming carrot hair. Highlighted by Bonnye’s clue of a black T-shirt, along with Dustin’s clue of red hair, Stan’s eager to talk about his new job as a sales rep—selling sunglasses. “This is my first event,” he shares with a hint of nervousness in his proud voice. We intercede as Cheryl speaks God’s blessings over Stan’s business . . . which confirms Bonnye’s clue of finances.

In the meantime, Fran and Darry find several human Treasures of their own.

“At first Rick and Linda shook their heads, said they didn’t need prayer,” Fran shares. “But a few minutes later, they headed right back to us. ‘This is such such a nice thing you’re doing,’ Linda said with a smile. ‘Would you pray for Rick? He’s starting a new job.’ ” After interceding for Rick’s finances, Darry and Fran meet Edna near Darry’s clue of the clock tower and learn she needs relief from migraines. And heading off past a store near the train station, they meet and pray for Bill . . . who suffers from ulcerative colitis.

Strolling along the sidewalk, Bonnye runs into her friend Eve—whose daughter’s pink- and-purple shirt is decked with a butterfly. “I know you had ‘dragonfly,’ Julie,” Cheryl puts in with a grin. “But I think ‘butterfly’ is close enough to count.” Eve requests prayer for her sister.

“Since she’s your friend, do I refer to her by her real name?” I ask Bonnye. (In my written testimonies, I normally change the names of our human Treasures.)

“Sure. She wouldn’t mind,” Bonnye assures me.

That covers almost all this morning’s human Treasures . . .

Except for the one who receives an on-the-spot healing.

Dustin meets this lady—our second human Treasure in red pants—and learns she needs relief from a painful ear infection.“How badly does it hurt?” he asks her, after praying with one hand cupped over her afflicted ear. “Is it a six or a seven?”

At once her eyes widen with amazement and delight. “I feel no pain at all!”

After recounting his story, in which he shares his Treasure’s real name, Dustin turns to me. “You can call this lady ‘Yolanda.’ ”

Sharla’s eyes light up. “Hey, I think your choosing that name is more than a coincidence,” she tells Dustin with a smile. “Yolanda is the name of one of my housemates . . . a friend who asked for God’s help to quit smoking.”

Cheryl turns to me. “Julie, why don’t you pray for Yolanda?”

And I have the honor of interceding aloud for this morning’s final human Treasure. Though Yolanda’s not here with us, I join the others in laying hands on Sharla . . . who stands in proxy for her friend.

Even though at both locations things started out quiet, our Hunt plodding along at a seeming snail’s pace, God still showed up for us in a wealth of amazing ways. And as we leave I recall the words Fran received from Him before we started out.

Wherever you walk, I will give you the land.

On Sunday, when Cheryl runs an errand, she re-connects with a Treasure from the day before. While paying for her items, she sees Sue working in that section of the store. After checking out, Cheryl heads over to greet her in surprise and delight.

Sue’s eyes also light up in recognition. “Isn’t it something to meet you again?” she exclaims, beaming brightly. “I wonder what the chance is of us running into each other in Rockwall only a day after we crossed paths in Garland?”

Marveling with Sue over this wonderful surprise, Cheryl walks away musing, Once again, this truly is a “God thing.”

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