The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)
Sometimes when life gets messy, or chaotic, or even a little too fast paced, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that life with God (the kingdom of heaven) is like treasure. And I guess the reason for this is that this treasure is often hidden; hidden in the dirt and dust and grime of everyday life. But when we are reminded of the fact of the treasure, and the beauty of the treasure; we are also reminded (that regardless of how dismal or inviting the field we are currently standing in looks) to dig. Because in the digging comes the finding, and in the finding comes the recognizing; recognizing how extraordinarily beautiful the treasure really is, and how everything else pales in comparison. When we gaze steadily at the treasure, we are captivated, and our hearts are completely captured, and life is transformed.
It is my joy oftentimes, as I sit with folks or take them on retreat, to remind them of the beauty of the treasure. And to encourage them to dig; dig into whatever it is that their life is currently composed of. Because in the digging comes the finding. There is treasure buried within it, it is ours simply to dig long enough to find it. And once we find it, to be captured by it...by what God is up to in the midst of whatever it may be. I sat with one friend recently that has been through hell, but has kept digging through the rubble and wreckage of a life that at one time looked unsalvageable, and now sees nothing but the treasure of what God has brought up from the dirt of pain and brokenness.
I also got to go on a retreat a week or so ago with a group of pastors (dear and wonderful men) who would name the field they were currently toiling in things like fried, tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, consumed, etc. It was fun to be with them and to encourage them in the silence to dig in to God. And when the did, it was such a delight to see what He did, and how He met them, and how He revealed the treasure (of Himself) to them, and offered them life and breath and rest. It is such a joy and a privilege to be able to be with people, and to see their eyes grow wide with excitement and life, the moment they discover the treasure underneath the grime. And it also encourages and motivates me to keep digging. Thanks be to God!