Painfully Worth It

Photo Credit Weisimel

Jesus once told a parable that went something like this:

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hiding in a field. Every day, hundreds of people walked by it, around it, even over it, completely oblivious to the riches right under their nose.

One day, a young woman stumbled upon it. At first, she didn’t realize exactly what she had found. As it slowly dawned on her, she became more and more excited, until finally she hid it again and hurried back home.

Over the next couple of days, she gathered up all her belongings and boxed them up. Some things were easy to part with, but she shed many tears as she said goodbye to nostalgic items from her childhood; clothes, shoes, belts, and more shoes from her closet; books, CDs, and movies; laptop, television, cell phone, mp3 player; furniture, appliances, even her car.

It took her several days to sell all her stuff, and in the process there were moments of doubt and uncertainty about her plan. When she moved back in with her parents and told her friends what she was doing, they could not understand. They tried to get her to change her mind, at least to hang onto some needed items, but she knew what she wanted. Her father forced her to see a psychiatrist, but afterwards the doctor acknowledged that she was in her right mind despite her behavior being so unusual.

“I can’t explain it,” she said to her family, “but it’s almost as if I have no real choice in the matter. Now that I know it is out there, the thought of it consumes my every waking moment. I don’t think I can live without it. And if this is the only way for me to get it, then this is what I will do. I believe it’s worth it.”

Three weeks after first finding the treasure, the young woman met with a real estate agent and joyfully signed her name to many papers. It was a long process, and she could hardly contain herself as she patiently signed over and over. Finally, she was done; she was shaking hands with the others in the room, and it was a done deal.

She rushed over to the field as quickly as possible. Her heart felt like it was going to explode as she crouched down, turning over the soil, and then… there it was! Sunlight glimmered off of the treasure.

It was hers! Fully and truly and forever, hers. An overwhelming feeling of joy and peace came over her as she realized her life would never be the same.

Based on Matthew 13:44.

Question: Why don’t we see our life with Christ as such a treasure?

Finding the Kingdom of Heaven

A passage of Scripture that has been on my heart and in my mind lately is Matthew 13:44.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

This passage tells me discipleship is an all-or-nothing issue. It is difficult but 100% worth it.

I am still wrestling through what it means to “give up everything.” However, I’m afraid the real heart of the issue is I am not so much wrestling “through” as I am wrestling “with.” I am resisting and pushing back against any idea to radically overhaul my life, and I’ve been using this idea of “processing” as my vehicle to procrastinate.

I fear that I have grown too accustomed to comforts and ease, trivialities and entertainment. If Christ knocked on my door and told me to do something radical for Him, it would be hard not to obey a “standing-right-in-front-of-me-and-in-my-face” Jesus… at least for a while. But the Spirit speaking softly to my heart is too easy to ignore and too often drowned out by all the other voices.

But if my brother in Christ shares with me where he is at in this process of following Christ, the Holy Spirit who is speaking softly to him, speaks to me through him, and suddenly the Spirit’s voice is amplified to me and I am encouraged and strengthened in my resolve.

Christ might not knock on my door anytime soon, but you can be Christ for me and I can be Christ for you and we can pursue Christ’s call to discipleship together.