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Posted by Faron Franklin on Thursday, April 30, 2009 Under: Faron's Footnote
        Toy stores now sell small sand boxes that fascinate the minds of little explorers.  These kits come complete with small shovels, diggers, rakes, and brushes so a young child can excavate and brush away the sand to reveal small (plastic) bones of dinosaurs, and other artifacts of ancient cultures buried under the earth.  

 Adult archaeologists also dig for hidden treasures; they dig in layers of the earth’s crust for clues to our past.  They work in harsh and often dangerous conditions, to the point of exhaustion to make the next discovery.

Ancient people and civilizations didn’t have cameras and computers for storing records of their exploits.   Instead they built statues, drew on walls, and left accounts of their deeds that literally were buried by the steady march of time.

Over the years archaeologists have proven what students of the Bible have been proclaiming for years:  God’s Word is not a myth.   These scientific diggers have found countless items that verify the historical accuracy of Scripture. From the discovery of the Hittites, to an Assyrian record of King Hezekiah, to the Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology has been a consistent friend to the Christian community.  

Not long ago archaeologists begin excavating two19th-century outhouses in the state of California.  As workers were excavating to build condominiums and a parking garage, they found some things that were curious enough to make them call in the researchers.  It turns out they had uncovered two 130-year-old toilets.

I personally love collecting old bottles.   Many of the collecting magazines explain where the best place to look for these glass antiques.  They encourage you to find a section of earth where years before stood an old outhouse.    Bottle explorers clarify, “As bathroom users went to the outhouse they often would throw their trash in the hole as well.    And sometimes, something accidently fell in---who would want to retrieve it?   Through the years the outhouse structure would rot away and the hole in the ground would become covered by the dust of time.   The old bottles and other discarded items buried below would gain value with age, despite their unrespectable location.”

                Getting back to our story, these scientists consider these 130-year-old outhouses a genuine treasure trove.   Remember, as they are digging and sweeping the dust away layer by layer, construction is halted. They admit it requires putting up with a lingering odor in the soil but consider the work both exciting and important.   Some of their recorded finds were a Bowie knife, a pistol, and some whiskey flasks. They even unearthed a set of false teeth.

“The further you go down, the stronger the smell,” says researcher Marisa Solorzano. “But it’s not that bad. These privies are archaeological gold mines.”

There you have it: a perfect illustration for how real life often works.

Truth isn’t always apparent on the surface of things.  First impressions of people are often wrong.  Situations that seem hopeless aren’t.   Relationships that appear to have broken down irreparably haven’t. 

 There are many in society that view this world as hopeless to the point they will consider taking their own life.   They are convinced the smelly hole they are in could only be their grave.  They take the darkness, stench, and nastiness as their justification for quitting---giving up. Or, pardon the pun, flushing everything seems to be their only option.

While some see the hopeless side, others have found what archaeologists know in their work is true of life in general.   When you are in dirty and smelly situations, treasure is yet to be found!

There is a healthy sense of pride that is developed in the heart of a person who works hard to sustain their business through a turbulent economy.   A person who works through an affair and forgives to heal a broken marriage learns the meaning of grace.    A person that chooses the high road in a dispute understands the gift and importance of unity.

Pain, anxiety, and loss are never pleasant to endure, but they can have their positive sides.    James encourages the church, “The testing of your faith produces endurance, but let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4-5).  
       Valuable things come with big price tags.  So the next time you find yourself in a smelly mess, remember to seek for the treasure.  With a little effort you may unearth something you will value a lifetime or even eternity.



Dear Lord,  Help me to  be willing to dig deep to find the true treasures of life.   When I do the work allow me to discover hope, forgiveness, grace, and a peace that passes all understanding.   Remind me today that You are with me as I labor.   In Jesus Name---Amen



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Faron Franklin
Mcdonald, Pa
Faron Franklin