by Patti Richter
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think . . . to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations. Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
The group of college students from Texas stood in a long line of tourists. They had travelled from the capital city of Beijing to Central China for a museum tour of the “afterlife army” of China’s first emperor, who died in 210 B.C.
The Terracotta Army Museum is one of the greatest archeological sites in the world. And my son Weston’s Mandarin-language instructor had planned that day trip during a summer study-abroad semester. But Weston almost missed out on the opportunity due to the originally planned hours-long journey by train. My son had explained, “These trains weren’t designed for people over six feet tall.”
It saddened me to think of my son missing out on such an adventure, especially considering his fascination with China’s history and its leaders. However, the week of the trip, the instructor decided it would work for the group to fly!
After stepping inside the cavernous exhibition hall, Weston noticed a group of museum guards moving in behind him. They also closed off the entrance to others waiting in line outside. But his attention soon returned to the incredible display of ancient figures ahead of him: thousands of miniature clay soldiers and horses—no two alike.
The terracotta army had remained hidden in the earth for more than 2000 years until 1974, when farmers digging a well discovered an ancient pit. In the following decades, excavations uncovered immense vaults of clay figures, along with artifacts in bronze, silver, and gold. And archeologists believe much more of China’s treasure trove is waiting to be unearthed.
That amazing and ongoing discovery provides an earthly example of the spiritual treasure waiting for those who seek to know God. The apostle Paul wrote that he received God’s grace “to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things” (Ephesians 3:8-9 ESV).
Paul went on to explain what believers can receive because of the riches of God’s glory:
Be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:18-19 ESV
My son exited the back of the exhibit hall that day surprised to find an expectant crowd. He also saw a line of security guards in front of a nearby caravan of expensive cars with government license plates. Then Weston turned back around in time to see two special tourists emerge from the doors behind him. The Premier of China and his guest, the Chancellor of Germany, had also come to view the long-hidden treasures.
So much more than expected.
This article brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Patti Richter lives in north Georgia with her husband, Jim. She is a freelance journalist and long-time faith columnist at BlueRibbonNews.com with more than four hundred published articles.
Patti is the co-author of the award-winning Signs of His Presence—Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of Suffering. It is the story of Luann Mire, whose godly husband was blindsided by an indictment due to a former employer’s tax fraud. The resulting prison sentence and restitution took the once joyful couple into a long season of suffering as they fought judicial tyranny. Helpless to change her situation, Luann endured a painful examination of her life and found God faithful to His promises.
Join the conversation: What has God done for you that exceeded your expectations?