The kingdom of heaven is like a 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)
In the late 1970’s the City of Cleveland tore down a derelict house a few blocks from my first church. The old man who lived there had not made any repairs for years and the house was in terrible shape. When he died, none of his children thought the house was worth saving, so they abandoned it. After several years the city condemned it and tore it down.
What no one realized was that the house held a hidden treasure. The old man had stashed his life savings in its walls so that when the house was torn down his money was scattered all over the lot.
The neighborhood children were the first to discover the treasure. One kid thought that it was play money. He grabbed a fist full of twenties, took them to school and passed them out to his friends. Another was sure that his mother wouldn’t let him keep the money. He took just enough to buy a new bike, figuring that if he had the bike in hand, Mom wouldn’t make him return it to the store.
One of the big winners was the woman who lived next door. She grabbed an empty three-pound coffee can and filled it to overflowing. I met her several years later and she told me that she gathered enough money to put a down payment on her first house.
Perhaps the biggest winner of all was the bulldozer operator. No one knows how much he got, but according to the neighborhood people, he just sat on his bulldozer with a big smile on his face while he watched everybody else digging through the rubble.
Jesus told a similar parable when he was here on earth. In Matthew 13:44 he says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a 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)
How sad it is to think that the old man’s children had a treasure within their grasp and they let it go. If they had repaired the house they would have found their father’s life-savings and had more than enough to cover the repairs, along with plenty left over. Instead, they not only lost the treasure but also had to reimburse the city for the cost of the demolition.
What treasures has God buried in your life? God delights to surprise and bless us, but we must have eyes to see God’s blessings.
Happy treasure hunting!