Wednesday, May 22, 2013

treasure

“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)



The kingdom of heaven is like treasure.  What an incredible statement!  Of all the pictures that come to my mind when I hear about the kingdom of heaven the picture of a priceless, matchless treasure is not typically one of them?  Why is that?  What do I really think the kingdom of heaven is like?  And how does what I think the kingdom of heaven is really like shape my life and my belief?  I have a suspicion that if I really believed the kingdom of heaven was like treasure, I would live my life much differently.  At least that was the case for those that found the treasure...the guy in the field, and Zacchaeus, and James and John, and Peter and Andrew, and Paul.  Something deeply significant happens within a person when they really discover the beauty and the majesty and the breathtaking quality of this treasure. 

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase the kingdom of heaven?  And what comes to your mind when you think of treasure?  What do you treasure?  What is your treasure?  It seems like a pretty significant question.  In fact, both Matthew and Luke go as far as to tell us that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also, so I guess it is something we should spend some time considering.

I've been thinking a lot about treasure these days, particularly as it relates to the kingdom of heaven.  Mostly because of this parable.  And the more I think about it, the more it seems like once I am truly convinced that life with God (the kingdom of heaven) is like treasure--the most valuable, beautiful, captivating treasure I could ever hope to discover in my wildest dreams--it completely changes everything.  My heart is totally and completely captured by its (His) beauty; and I will do anything, and give up anything and everything, to possess it.  That's the way it was for the man in the story at least.  And that's the way it could be for us too.  At least that seems to be one of the main things Jesus is trying to communicate by telling the story in the first place; that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure.


But it's not just treasure, it's treasure hidden.  Now there's an interesting twist.  Why in the world would God want this treasure to be hidden?  But we all know, by experience, that it is.  We all know thousands of people personally who have never found it. In fact, they don't even know (or care) that it's buried and waiting to be found.  The only answer I can come up with is that there must be something in the seeking.  And not only in the seeking for the very first time, but in the seeking each and every day after that as well.  That means that the why of the hiddenness may not be quite as important as the fact that it is, indeed, hidden.  For if it is, indeed, hidden then that must be the very nature of this treasure: always hidden and waiting to be found.  And if that is the very nature of this treasure, then I need to constantly be on the lookout for it.  If there is buried treasure waiting to be found, I need to constantly be seeking, and searching, and digging to unearth it...each minute of each and every day.  Whether it be in a conversation, or a situation, or a circumstance, or a hardship, or a wound; or even in Scripture, or in my time with Him each day, I must constantly be digging in search of the treasure hidden in the field.  It is indeed there; just waiting to be found.  And when I begin to approach life in this way it will radically change everything.  I will be completely sold out (like the man in the parable), giving up anything and everything to take possession of this immeasurably valuable treasure, and constantly making it my very own.

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