"Surely, there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined" (Job 28:1). There are places in God where the treasures of heaven are hidden, and it's the work of the miner to uncover these riches. Many times in our lives the vein will "run out", and though we continue to dig, we no longer find treasure, but useless toil, chiseling against the granite rock that was once rich ore, but now only a source of frustration.
The prospectors of old looked for signs that indicated that rich gold or silver ore lay below, and would dig in those promising places. In our lives, many times we must dig in a new place in order to find new ore, but how does one know where to dig? One place that's sure to contain the rich ore of the hidden treasures of God is the painful place. At times, the Lord will bring pain into our lives, and our natural response is to avoid the pain, which if possible, brings great relief, but no riches. A Christian who escapes the pains of God's dealings is always an impoverished Christian.
When pain comes your way, it's a good indicator that gold lies beneath, but you must dig. You must uncover the riches in the painful place, and that usually means difficult obedience. You will feel confusion or betrayal, fear or anxiety, all of which will cause you to squirm as you desperately search for an escape route. Stop searching for escape and search for gold. Surrender to Him who controls the circumstances and begin to seek Him there in that painful place. In seeking Him in surrender to His will, which means surrender to the circumstance that He controls and that He brought into your life, you will uncover His requirement for you in this painful place. You will uncover the obedience He wants from you. The command He gives you to obey is His instruction to you to "Dig this way, my child, for you will most assuredly find treasure."
He will require difficult obedience in the painful place. It will seem so wrong, for it will always appear to lead down a path of loss. It will appear unjust, unwise, unsafe, unproductive, or unprofitable. It will require literal obedience to scriptures that you have always marginalized or allegorized. That is your indicator of gold ore. Now, you must simply chip away in prayer till you find clear direction and complete surrender. There, in the midst of your pain, in an area of your heart previously untouched, you find compassion, surrender, obedience, reigning power, influence with God or with man, or any number of other wonderful treasures made of the substance of pure gold.
What is spiritual gold? It's a greater and more perfect union with Him who is the treasure that we seek, and one of the places where gold lies waiting to be uncovered and recovered is in the painful place.