I’m increasingly convinced that creation is one big treasure hunt. God apparently loves hiding things in our world for us to discover and develop.

Think about the way God made the world. He hid little deposits of gold, silver and iron for us in a globe- sized sandbox. And then, inside the gold, silver and iron, he infused the potential for ornate chandeliers, skyscrapers and jackknives, all just waiting to be unlocked by his delighted children. Or take the way he tucked the Bernouli principle into the atmosphere at creation, so we could eventually build trans-Atlantic jetliners (not to mention the little TVs in the back of each seat). Or consider how in crafting our potential for language, he planted the seeds of Shakespeare and Simon and Garfunkel.

From particle accelerators to the trick jugglers on YouTube, creation is an endless unfolding of wonders and gifts waiting to be discovered through the collective efforts of humanity.

But I believe that God’s greatest delight comes when the treasure we unearth and cultivate is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no greater treasure we can dig up or develop than maturity and spiritual growth in the lives of those God has placed around us. The very fabric of existence constantly affirms that human life is fundamentally about serving our neighbor so that our neighbor might be made more like Christ. Such treasure literally lasts for all eternity.

It’s a grand view, isn’t it? Yet, all this grandeur plays out in the concrete, mundane details of daily life. It happens as you enter into the life of a friend who is going through a hard season, or grieving the loss of a loved one, or struggling with heavy temptation. Offering help during these times has eternal implications. This places a sobering responsibility on us. And yet, it is also a thrilling invitation to participate in the creation of treasure that will still be bringing us joy in thousands of years.

This is why we have a conference focused on equipping the church in wise love and ministry every year. What could be more important than participating in the work of God in the lives of the broken image bearers he put around us? This is why I am especially excited about our topic this year: “Side-by-Side: How God Helps Us Help Each Other.” Every last one of us has the capacity to help those we walk alongside, and every last one of us needs to be helped as well.

If you are someone who wants to grow in bringing out the potential treasure God has planted in his children, or simply someone who knows you need both your God and your neighbor to help you grow in the riches of your inheritance in Christ, I hope you’ll join us.