There was once a man who went hunting for treasure. He went all over the land searching. His metal detector swept fields and beaches, hills and valleys. The man found enough to keep his interest up, and to make it possible to continue his quest. He never found ‘the big one.’ He knew deep down inside that there was such a treasure. He was determined to keep looking until he found it.
As the years passed there was never a find that meant he could stop searching, pack away his metal detector, and retire. And so, he kept searching. His resolve never wavered, each day, he got up and started searching again.
One day, the man started scanning a field he had never been to before. As he approached the middle of the field the metal detector began to beep persistently. Taking his trusty trowel the man began to dig. After a short time, the trowel struck metal. Clearing furiously, it became quickly apparent that there was a huge chest. Excitement began to build, and, convinced that this was it, this was the treasure he had been searching for, he covered it up and ran off to find the owner of the field. The owner was prepared to sell but wanted a fair price for it. Checking his savings account, pockets of all his old jackets and down the back of the sofa cushions the man didn’t have enough.
So convinced that he had found the last treasure he would ever need to look for, the man went to eBay and sold everything he had. The metal detector and trowel sold well and gave the man enough to buy the field.
As I grew up, I lived off the benefit of the treasure that my parents had found. They had given up everything to pursue that treasure, and followed it (Him) wherever it led, even if that meant uprooting and travelling to other side of the world. As I got older, I realised that I needed to find my own treasure. I looked for it in a number of different places, never really finding anything that gave me the assurance that I had found “IT”.
After lots of searching I found that the field with my treasure had been nearby all along. It was almost as if there was a signpost, giving me directions. Once I started to dig in this field, I realised that there was much more to the treasure than I had hoped for. As I read the guide book contained in the treasure chest I found that it wasn’t just a book of stories from long ago. The truths spoke deep into my heart, and I found that giving all I had to have the further treasure contained within was a price that I would never regret paying.
There have been points along the journey that have made me wonder if I have read the instructions correctly. Matthew 10:5-8 seems clear that with my treasure I should preach the Kingdom of heaven, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and raise the dead. Whilst I’ve seen some of this happen, there are some obvious gaps. My success rate is far from 100%. When I compare my story to the success rate of that of the treasure, it would be very easy to become discouraged, to perhaps question whether the treasure found was sufficient to keep me. It would be easy to perhaps look for treasure in a different field, not to have instead, but to add to the treasure already found.
Why are some healed and some not? This question will be asked as long as there is sickness and disease. How can a God, who can do anything sometimes choose not to do something that seems so obvious to us. When we read of Jesus healing people, it is always recorded as being because He had compassion on the person needing the healing. If we are to trust a God who heals because He has compassion on mankind, how do we rationalise the fact that at times when we need compassion, when we need God to step in does He appear not to?
I believe the heart of the Father is that we do not suffer sickness, disease and death. Descriptions of life in the Garden before the fall, what we read about heaven, and the fact that Jesus healed ALL who came to Him, points to that fact. We have been tasked with bringing heaven to earth. As “little Christs”, our mission is the same as that of Christs. We are to show the world the Fathers heart. His heart is that of compassions, healing and love.
Since the fall, that mission has met with opposition. The kingdom of darkness is trying to thwart the revelation of the Kingdom of heaven. As time goes on, chinks of light are breaking through. Heaven is coming. It won’t be long until the breakthrough is complete, but until it does, our task is to press on, each prayer weakening the enemy. It can get frustrating. It sometimes feels like nothing will penetrate the armour, but persistence is the key. We press on, utterly convinced the treasure will bring victory.
Because we have assurance in the ultimate victory, and that God continues to be God throughout, the things that we don’t understand can be safely left in His hands. What we see as failure, He somehow, miraculously fashions into good. The problem we have is that the “good” that is promised may not be visible to us. We may never see the good that God has fashioned from the hurt and pain that we go through.
Why the prayers of Saints across the globe did not heal mum I will probably never know this side of eternity. This I do know though and am completely convinced of – God IS Good. God HAS a Plan. God IS Love (and He loves ME). I am not God, and my life begins to fall apart when I forget this and try to live like I am.
God is the treasure that I have found in my field. He tells me to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and raise the dead. I will keep pressing in to Him until all of that becomes a reality in my life. I’ve sold all I have for this. This is it.
I pray that this Christmas, you too will find the treasure whose birth we celebrate at this time of year. That when you find it, you will look into His eyes and be convinced, as I am, that it is worth everything. I can assure you, there will be no regret.
” 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. ” (Matthew 13:44)