In Malaysia, I was introduced to Tradewind Treasures...a company that makes beautiful jewellery from historic porcelain shards which have lain for centuries on the bottom of the South China Sea. These shards were once part of the sunken cargo from ships that traveled along the Silk Route. The first time I saw the jewellery, I decided that I'd love to have a piece as a memento of my time in Asia. So before leaving, I splurged and purchased what I thought was a bit of Asian history. Little did I know then, that my pendant with the Double Happiness waves design recovered from the Desaru Shipwreck would have meaning and symbolism to me way beyond the 19th century Qing Dynasty.
Though I bought this treasure in April, I only just wore it for the first time this morning. To my surprise as I put it on, my mind was immediately flooded with analogies and symbolism of truths much, much more ancient than the 1830 shipwreck.This pendant is a perfect symbol of hope to me. Crazy that all that follows came from simply putting on a necklace, but praise God that he keeps encouraging me over and over with this most beautiful word...Hope!
First of all, the pendant came from a shipwreck which is exactly what my life would be without Jesus. Like a ship at sea, I can be blown to and fro by the stormy winds of life, and at times, even overcome by raging waters that threaten to take my last bit of joy... peace...even my very breath away. Without Jesus who is more than able to calm the most treacherous of storms in my life, I'd be going down without a prayer of hope... just like the covered wine bowl my jewellery was made of did in the cargo hold of the Desaru.
Next, I thought about how this porcelain cargo...now a treasure, had once been lost... just like me! How blessed I am that Jesus values not only me, but each and every person in the whole world, and will stop at nothing to find his children and bring us home to be with him eternally. The parables of the lost sheep, Luke 15:4, and the lost coins, Luke 15:8, encourage me and help me to know this amazing truth.
Another analogy that came to mind this morning was how my life, just like my pendant, without God's grace was broken... full of sin and without the value it had been created to have. Fortunately, Jesus' sacrifice has made it possible for me to be beautiful and truly precious in God's eyes once again....simply illustrated just as this jewellery had been transformed by a craftsman from a mere shard from a common everyday bowl into a treasure worthy to be displayed in a national museum.
One last thought I had was about the pattern of "Double Happiness"....meaning even more than happy which just so happens to be the meaning of "blessed"! It truly is a gift from God to be able to experience hope and joy regardless of outward circumstances. We are truly "blessed" to be called his children, joint heirs with Jesus Christ. To God, no other treasures on earth can even begin to compare to his shipwreck treasures....us!
P.S. This post was written 3 months ago (October 4)... and never published as I wasn't quite sure... not sure what I wasn't sure about... I think I was afraid of sounding too preachy or something. As I reread it this morning (January 3)... the first time I've been to my blog since Sam was laid off and we've moved home... I decided to publish it with a prayer that maybe the truths God put on my heart then would encourage others as they once again encouraged me this morning. So much loss has happened in the short time we've been home... dear friends have lost mothers, granddaughters... friends of friends have lost wives, babies...lost jobs, lost relationships, lost opportunities...
Praise God that so long as the sun rises, there will never be a loss of HOPE.