Check your purse and pockets right now. You may be holding an undiscovered treasure.
There are a handful of modern coins that are worth quite a lot of money. For instance, in your possession may be the Wisconsin “Extra Leaf” state quarter. When it was minted, some coins came out with an additional leaf on the corn husk. One of these defective variations fetched about $3,500 at auction!
Or you could try to find the 2005 Jefferson nickel. Some of these were struck with a large die gouge which appears as a line through the image of the bison. These are known as the “Speared Bison” nickels, and have fetched at auction about $1,200. That’s 24,000 times its face value.
And if you’re lucky enough to find a 1913 Liberty Head V nickel nestled among your change, that one little coin is worth over $4 million.
What makes a coin so valuable? There are many factors, but put simply: rarity.
OK, so what makes a coin so rare? For one thing, age. Everyone knows that the older a coin is, the scarcer it becomes. The second answer, as we’ve seen in the examples above—defect.
Numismatists don’t clamor for perfect examples of everyday coins. No matter how beautifully struck or shiny that modern nickel is, a coin collector won’t pay top dollar for it. The nickels they prize are the ones that have age or have flaws.
And yet, our culture tells us the very opposite is true about people. In movies, Hollywood would rather cast a youthful woman with a flawless body than an older actress with physical flaws. In this world’s culture, youth and perfection are more valuable than age and defect.
Ah, but the same isn’t true with our Heavenly Father! In God’s economy, age and defect have infinitely more value.
You’ve probably heard of Moses. He’s the one who ended up leading the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt. But when God first called him to this monumental task, he didn’t want to go. Why? He felt too inhibited by his speech impediment.
Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:10-13
Thankfully, Moses overcame his reluctance, and went on to become one of the principal human figures in the Bible. God didn’t change Moses; God’s power shone through the cracks in Moses’ humanity.
The same happened with the apostle Paul. Paul asked Jesus to take away his “thorn of the flesh.” The Lord said no.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Can you imagine a coin collector finding the $4 million Liberty Head nickel and smelting it down in order to make it look just like the standard 2019 Jefferson nickel, which is worth 5 cents? That would be insane. So why would you want to do the same to yourself?
If you gaze longingly at popular, perfect people in school, wishing you were like them, STOP. If you stare disapprovingly in the mirror at the deepening wrinkles on your face, wishing you looked like the cover model on the magazine, STOP. If you have a stutter, a limp, or a handicap, and wish that God would just make you “normal,” STOP. God didn’t put you on earth to measure yourself against others. And He certainly doesn’t want you to become like everyone else.
Face it: you are a rarity. There is no one like you. You have been minted as a one-and-only edition. There will be no others after you, nor were there any before you, who are just like you. You are a rare and priceless addition to your Heavenly Father’s prized collection of sons and daughters. Why on earth would you want to look like everyone else?
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.”