Best Beloved and I enjoy documentaries. Like most folk, I enjoy a good story, but the older he gets, the less patience he has with fiction, so when we watch something together, it is almost inevitably some documentary or other. This may sound boring, but there are so many mysteries in life and history, that there is always something to pique our combined interest 😊.

This week it was The Oracles of God, a documentary about the Dead Sea scrolls and although I thought I knew the facts from our biblical studies, there was much to learn because of recent discoveries aided by modern forensic technology. Archeology is truly the science of unravelling the secrets produced by time, and my imagination soon conjured up vivid pictures of a world thousands of years before my time.

Amazingly, they are now able to do DNA testing on scrolls almost totally reduced to ashes. These tests reveal that, contrary to past thinking, the scrolls come from different places, some being sheepskin, others, cowhide. It’s there, in the DNA.

I confess, there are times when it feels as though the present fiery trial is producing ashes rather than the gold Job talked about: “…he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.” But our spiritual DNA is in our origin, woven into our very foundation, the evidence of the Creator’s image in us. From the beginning he put in us the promise of something precious that defies our all-too-human frailty. The fire does not destroy it, the ashes do not hide it for long. The day comes when the Wind of the Spirit blows over those ashes and there it is – the gleam of gold, pure gold.  

“So, when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”

Open my eyes, Lord, to recognize the gold!