We followed our treasure map, which led us to WalMart on our journey to find the ultimate treasure. We did not know exactly what we were going to find, because the only clues we had were headache, blue shirt, Starbucks coffee, knee pain, hurt right arm, frozen foods, red hat, CDs, and bucket. As we headed into the store, our Treasure Hunting team shared some nervous thoughts about whether or not we would actually find the treasure that was hidden somewhere inside. Since I was the only experienced Treasure Hunter on our team of four, I shared that I, too, was always nervous before a big hunt, but that God had always led me to the treasure in the past.
We began to weave our way through the aisles, looking intently in every direction for the subtle clues that would lead us to specific treasures just waiting to be discovered. We made our way over to the frozen food section, where one of the clues on the Treasure Map directed us, but as we stood there, trying to discern every possible lead, it was apparent that our treasure was not in the frozen food section. Knowing that God does not hide things from us, but for us, I encouraged the team to look beyond the frozen foods.
Immediately, a young woman on the team exclaimed that a young boy being pushed in a cart down a perpendicular aisle had on a blue shirt! With adrenaline pumping through seemingly every muscle in our bodies, as subtly as possible, we approached the treasure site to uncover any treasure that might be hidden for us in a blue shirt. We approached the young boy who was being guarded by his obviously distraught mother.
With smiles on our faces, we explained that we were on a Treasure Hunt, and that we had a blue shirt on our Treasure Map. The mother was visibly skeptical, looking at each of us for signs of an impending scam. But as the mother quizzically scanned our lists highlighting the various clues, she hesitantly pointed out that her son had constant headaches caused by an unidentifiable disease that was affecting his central nervous system. Over the past six months, this young boy had been suffering from incapacitating headaches that had left him virtually crippled.
We explained to the mom that God had led us to them to help them in some way, that they were the Treasure on our map. The mother began to cry, explaining to us that she had been so tired and hopeless as a single mother trying to care for her pain-riddled son. Even though she was not a Christian, she readily welcomed our prayers for her and her son. So, right there in the aisle, we invited God’s presence as we laid hands on the little boy. After a few minutes, he began to feel much better, so we began to prophesy Heaven’s destiny over mom and son. By the end of the ten-minute encounter, we were all like family, hugging and rejoicing together. The mom then gave her phone number to a woman on our team, asking if she could go to church!
We were so excited about the divine appointment that we had just had, that we could not wait to find the next treasure on our Map. So, we went looking for Starbucks coffee. We went to the raw coffee-bean section, but did not dis- cover our treasure there. Immediately, we were struck once again that we had just “lucked” out somehow with the divine appointment with the “blue shirt” and the “headache.”
I instructed the team that we often need to dig deeper for the clues, that creativity is a big part of successful Treasure Hunting. We began to think of all of the different places that Starbucks coffee would be located in the store, and discovered that there were two other locations. We went to the ground-coffee section, and finding no further clues there, we went to the ice cream section where, unbeknownst to me, they had frozen Starbucks ice cream!
As we stood there, we realized that earlier we had “frozen foods” and that now we were in the frozen section different from what we had previously deduced from that clue on our Treasure Map. We waited in the empty aisle for about three minutes, now knowing that this was the place where we would find our next treasure.
Finally, a woman who was an acquaintance of one of our team members came walking down our aisle. We explained that we were on a Treasure Hunt and that we were looking for further clues. As she looked at our Treasure Map, she could hardly believe that we had “hurt right arm” on our Treasure Map. It turned out that she had hurt her arm several months earlier, and it had still not healed. We began to pray simply, “Lord, let Your Kingdom come; let Your will be done in this arm as it is in Heaven.” Immediately, the pain left her arm, and the mobility was fully restored!
So now we’re looking for buckets. We headed over to the mops and stood around the buckets there for a few minutes, and then to the automotive section to find a bucket used to wash cars. Nothing. Someone then had the idea that we could go to the toy section where they might have buckets used to play in the sand.
As we were wandering around the toy section looking for a bucket, one of the employees approached me and asked if I needed help. I said, “Well, we’re on a Treasure Hunt and one of our clues is a bucket.” Trying to be very helpful, she asked why we needed a bucket. “Well,” I said, “we actually do not want a bucket; we are looking for a per- son that God wants to help today who is standing by a bucket—that is our treasure.” Sheepishly, she asked, “Do you think I could be your treasure?” Without hesitation, the team began to prophesy over her, calling out the good plans and purposes that God had in store for her. We began to speak about the way God the Father saw her: as the apple of His eye.
Right there in the middle of the aisle, at the buckets, she started crying and sharing with us that everything we said was exactly what she needed to hear. She invited Jesus into her heart and told us that it was the best day of her life!
As she left, we were ecstatic. “This Treasure Hunt thing really works,” we were all thinking. Just then, another employee walked by limping, which of course was caused by a problem in his “right knee.” Now the Treasures were coming to us! We ended up praying for him, and God healed him right there on the spot. We encouraged him that he had just experienced the goodness and kindness of God and sent him on his way back to work.
We ended up finding the other clues on our Treasure Map, but the most important part of our adventurous journey was that we found the Ultimate Treasure: people who had been buried in loneliness, pain, and hopelessness who, when uncovered by the Holy Spirit’s leading, were saved, healed, and delivered all in a time span of a mere 1 hour and 15 minutes!
The Ultimate Treasure is the people who are just waiting to be discovered. They are those who desperately, and often secretly, need a real encounter with God in order to meet the overwhelming needs of their lives and the unfulfilled desires of their hearts. They are everywhere. They are in stores, businesses, neighborhoods, parks, schools, and even the church. They are everywhere we go. They are God’s Ultimate Treasure.
In Luke 15:8-10, Jesus tells a parable that captures God’s heart for the lost treasure. He says:
Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin [treasure].” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:8-10)
Too often, we as Christians can look at the “lost coins” in the world as worthless, instead of viewing them as the treasure depicted in this parable. So very easy it is to think of the “sinner” as a lost cause, and therefore, not even worth seeking. It is true that those who are covered over in darkness are under every kind of evil, and that the god of this age has darkened their understanding (see Eph. 4:17), but that should not be the deterrent to uncovering the treasure that lies within them. Everyone is worth finding.
- Kevin Dedmon, author of The Ultimate Treasure Hunt
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Dedmon has a traveling ministry focused on equipping, empowering, and activating the Church for supernatural evangelism through signs and wonders, healing, and the prophetic. He earned a Master's degree in church leadership from Vanguard University, and has been in full-time ministry for more than 25 years. He and his wife are part of Bethel Church in Redding, California.