Have you ever been inside a mine? There is a gold mine right behind the Adullam Orphanage in Ghana. In fact, the woman who started the orphanage moved to Ghana because her husband is in the gold mining industry and his company transferred him to Ghana. Ghana is very rich in gold but only about 3% of the population controls the wealth, according to her.
In 2007, three of our team members had the opportunity to go into the mine. They put on special clothing and then took a truck ride deep into the mine. Once in the mine, they were able to witness the mining process. The miners use lots of equipment to dig deep into the earth with the hopes of extracting gold. It is a time consuming process which requires great effort and causes you to get dirty, but the benefits are tremendous.
We encounter people from time to time who may appear to have no redeeming qualities in them. They might be hostile or difficult to deal with; however, if we are willing to invest the time and effort and dig, we’ll find they are worth our effort. Some of the greatest treasure you ever find requires you to dig, even in people.
Jesus was an experienced miner who never came up empty handed. In Mark 4:1-30 we read the story of the woman at the well. She wasn’t like a fine gem, polished and in a beautiful setting, but Jesus recognized the diamond in the rough. Because He was willing to take the time to talk with her and share His love with her, she became a follower. The Pharisees complained that He ate with sinners [Luke 15:1-2]. They didn’t understand there are some things that require time and effort. They weren’t willing to invest their time and get a little dirty to extract the nuggets of gold out of the people around them. When they looked at those Jesus spend time with irregardless of their circumstances, they saw unworthiness. Jesus saw treasure.
There is a world full of hurting people out there who need the love of Jesus, but they require you to dig deep. They come across as harsh and difficult because they’ve been hurt or let down in the past. Some don’t see their need for God and the ridicule those who love Jesus. They may even do horrible things by the world’s standards, but they are acting out of pain and they need a healer. Are you willing to get a little dirty? Are you willing to invest the time it takes, even when it isn’t convenient or fun? Grab your tools. It’s time to start mining for gold. If you don’t know how, just watch the Master.