Rrrr. Ahoy everyone.
This is captain Maria speaking:
Do you remember the time when you were little, someone introduced you to pirates or treasure boxes full of gold and coins? I remember hearing little stories of pirates going on their ships searching for their treasure. I loved it when they would open maps and go through their awesome adventures. I was excited to see or hear pirates opening their treasure boxes and seeing what they got inside. As I would watch and read these stories, I heard myself saying, if I were a pirate, what treasures will I find, what kind of adventure will I go through? How will I travel to get my treasure. When I was a little girl, I would pretend with other kids that the playground was my pirate ship and I was a captain looking for treasure. I imagine going through a crazy adventure, and finally getting to my fake treasure box that was colored with markers and paint. Inside were rocks and sticks.
I unlock the box.
Creeeeeeek.The top of the treasure chest opens.
“Yes! We found the treasure!!” I yelled cheerfully while celebrating with other kids.
As excited as I felt, I did this game over and over. Pretending there was treasure to find on the playground.
This is how I felt when I found real treasure. True treasure: Jesus!
Receiving this gift was an adventure, from this day, I still remember.
It all started when I was ten years old. I arrived in the United States from Russia with my new parents, Amy and Andrew. Not knowing English yet. I entered my very first room. I saw everything was green and summer like during winter. I was shocked to see that San Diego, California looks like summer even though it was late november. I saw wonderful parks and I met amazing people. I loved it all (I still do).
That wasn’t the best part. I remember one night, my parents sat with me in my room. Gave me one of the precious treasures anyone could receive: a bible.
I’ve seen a bible before in Russia. But as a kid, I wasn’t interested in reading a huge book written full of metaphors and parables. At the time, as I received my very first bible. That moment with my parents felt special. I opened it and felt the soft thin pages.
“This is a book we want you to keep and read whenever you want to. It holds special clues and love letters from Jesus. Which is another treasure we want you to keep.” My parents told me.
I heard of God and Jesus in my childhood but never understood what was special about them. So I asked respectfully, “Who is Jesus, and why is he so important to you?”
My parents responded, “Jesus is our friend. He saved us from our sins. He is our Messiah.”
I was more confused than ever. A friend? How in the world can anyone save us from our sins? What does Messiah mean?
My parents read me like a book, “Here…” they said.
My mom flips through the book, then she stops and reads, “John 3:16 states ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” She paused, then said, “God loves us so much that he even sent his own son, Jesus to die on the cross for us. Jesus was perfect. But we are not. He knew that, so he took our sins by dying on the cross for our sins. Without him, we can’t be with God. He’s the only way to get to heaven. If we accept him, we will be with him forever.”
I nodded, not wanting to respond because I still didn’t understand what that meant.
I looked at my clock, it read 8:15 pm. I went under my covers. I looked at my parents and said, “thankyou for sharing this information with me, I will think about it more. Goodnight. I love you.”
That night, I couldn’t fall asleep, all I could think was what my parents told me. It bothered me when I didn’t have answers to my questions.
A few weeks went by, I went to my parents and asked them, “how do I get to heaven? How do I receive Jesus in my life as my savior and messiah?”
They showed me how and explained to me that I can pray however I need to and wheever I am. I can pray with my hands open or closed. I can pray in the morning, noon or even at night time. I can pray about anything, God will listen to me. So, I left my eyes open, because I felt comfortable doing that. I sat down on a chair. And my parents prayed for me.
I can’t tell you ya’ll how I felt afterwards. It was like the moment when I opened my fake treasure box, so excited that I found treasure. I felt the Holy Spirit instantly. My body felt alive. I knew this treasure would stay with me forever.
It’s my lifelong treasure.
I still don’t have all the answers to my question but I know I have guidance and a map that will lead me to a place of wonders. Where my treasure will still stand. I can’t wait, to say the same thing as I did when I was a child, “Yes! I found my treasure!!”