My Treasured Possession

The Christmas of 1999, I received the best Christmas gift of my life.  It may not have been special to anyone else, but to me, it was and is my treasured possession.
This is the story leading up to the Christmas of 1999.  
My uncle was a missionary in Sri Lanka in the 1950s.  While he was there, he purchased a large yellow-colored jewel and gave it to my grandma as a gift on one of his trips back to the United States.  The jewel was unset and stored in a black velvet bag.  
My grandma tucked her cherished gift away in her dresser drawer, and there it stayed until 1973 when she died.
While sorting through my grandma's things following her death, my mother found the black velvet bag with the jewel.  She took it home and put it in her jewelry box.  I remember taking it out on a few occasions to hold it in my hand.  It was beautiful and felt good resting in the palm of my hand.   
Then in 1975, my mother died, I was 18.  When we went through her jewelry box, I saw that yellow-colored jewel, and I wanted it.  I was born in November, and it was the color of my birthstone and there were no objections to me having that stone.  I loved that it had been my grandma’s and my mother’s before me.
The jewel stayed with me for the next four years.  Then during some lean years early in our ministry, my husband and I decided to sell it.  We had a buyer lined up who was willing to pay $25 which would have been more than a week's worth of groceries for us at that time.
In passing, we mentioned to my in-laws that we were going to sell the jewel that had been my grandma’s and mother’s, and they quickly said, we'll buy it.  We sold it to my husband's parents, and I never thought of that stone again until the Christmas of 1999.   Over twenty years had passed.
The Christmas of 1999, my father-in-law was in the ICU.  He would never leave the hospital again.  He died in March of 2000.  Before he went into the hospital for surgery, he and my mother-in-law decided to have that jewel set into a neckless for me for Christmas.
That Christmas morning, neither of my in-laws were with me, when I opened that dear gift.  When I saw that jewel encased in gold with a chain of gold, I knew they had lovingly cared for my treasured possession all those years.  They redeemed that precious stone and then gifted it back to me.  
When I wear that neckless today, I know it has passed through the hands of so many people in my life, people that I loved dearly and who dearly loved me.  That stone was redeemed, protected, given purposes, and has become my treasured possession.
My treasured possession story sounds a bit like another.
In Malachi 3:16-18, there is another story about those who honor and fear the Lord.
Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 

“On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.

And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
There truly is a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. 

We have been chosen and set apart!
We were redeemed, but not with money.  We were purchased with the blood of Jesus! 
Our lives were complicated messes.  We weren't polished, kept in velvet bags, or set in gold.  
We were lumps of dirt and full of sin, yet He still looks at us and said, 
"My Treasured Possession.”  


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