Recently my wife Ashley and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. After 9 years of marriage, I can’t help but reflect on when it started and how much it cost.
It was 10 years ago and I was head over heels in love. This girl was THE ONE. I knew that I wanted her to be my wife.
With an amount of determination, focus, patience, and planning that I had never before displayed, I started saving.
Dollar after dollar, hour after hour, I saved. I saved with such joy I could hardly keep it a secret. My heart was bursting as my hands developed callouses and my back ached from the labor. It was worth every drop of sweat.
Then the day came – after work I headed down to the local Fred Meyer and walked into their jewelry department.
I turned over every last dollar I had.
Do you know what I felt as I handed over all that hard earned cash? Was it painful? Difficult? Burdensome? NO!
Words don’t do justice to describe to you how much JOY I was filled with when I handed over all that cash, representing so many hours of hard labor. It brought so much happiness to give it all away for that shiny little ring. I practically skipped out of that store.
Why was I filled with such joy? Why did I gladly lay down all that hard earned money?
I had found someone that was worth it all. I didn’t give it out of obligation or guilt, I gave it all up out of love.
The irony of this story is that two months ago, Ashley lost the diamond to that engagement ring. I was a little disappointed, but after all it’s just a diamond. The diamond wasn’t the treasure I had labored for, it was Ashley.
As I have been taking this trip down memory lane, I was reminded of a story Jesus told. He was trying to get the crowd to see the sheer beauty and worth of seeking God and His Kingdom.
Jesus said, “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)
You can see him telling this story can’t you? With a wink and a nod?
A guy discovers a hidden treasure in a field, buries it back up, then heads to town to hold a giant garage sale to get enough cash to buy the property that holds the treasure. Everyone must have thought he was crazy. Maybe they even asked him why he was doing this. I can just picture him saying with a smile, “I have a hunch about a field… “
Do you see what Jesus is doing with this story? He wants us to catch that attaining God and his Kingdom are completely worth laying all we have down at his feet.
Jesus is saying, “I am worth it!”
Dallas Willard writes; “The key, then, to loving God is to see Jesus, to hold him before the mind with as much fullness and clarity as possible. It is to adore him.”
Friends, once we get that, truly get that, the callouses, the sweat, the back aches of this life, are given with joy because we know about the treasure. Jesus is our treasure.
As we approach Good Friday (where we meditate on Jesus’s death) and Easter (where we celebrate his Resurrection). Lets hold Jesus before our minds and adore him for what he has done – only then can the things of this world find their true and proper place.