Tidying up my younger daughter’s bedroom usually results in unearthing a treasure trove of hoarded goodies. Shells under the pillow, gems under the bed, special pens stashed away in toy boxes. Scissors that have been banned secretly hidden from plain sight behind the innocent crowd of dolls and teddies at the end of the bed.
Treasure stored up. Stored away. Kept hidden for fear of others laying claim to these prized possessions, or often desired possessions. As I find different items scattered around my little girl’s room, they reveal her little heart to me. Sometimes revealing her empathetic, compassionate desire to protect, watch over, keep safe. Other times revealing her lack of confidence or assurance that they would be available to her if left beyond the safety of her room.
At times, even revealing her rebellion in hiding away what was taken from her, or hiding to restrict others from using it.
Our burying of treasure, our hoarding of the precious things we hold tightly too reveal what we love and where our security lies. I had a morning this week in my readings where everyone seemed to be snatching, grabbing, hiding, coveting and storing up treasures for themselves, out of fear, selfishness and lack of trust in the generosity of God.
There was Achan stealing and burying treasure from Jericho; Ananias holding back his land, hiding away and not giving for mass distribution amongst the believers; the labourers in the field assuming they’d get more than the 11th hour worker and despising what they got, despising the generosity of God and finally the disciples, longing to secure and claim privileged places in heaven at Christ’s right and left hand. Fearful of their future place, dissatisfied with the present, and needing to store up security for the future.
Guarding, claiming as one’s own, storing up, burying deep. All things we are called to do as God’s own precious, prized, dearly loved children. The problem is we misapply the right action to the wrong objects all the time.
The Lord asks us to guard, claim as our own, store up, and bury deep, and he commands our hearts to be the treasure chests, the hiding places. Calling us to store up the treasure of Christ and his word in our hearts. Our only treasure being the kingdom of God, the gift God gives us of himself. To cling but only to the eternal.
But to cling to Christ must mean loosening our grip on the temporal and earthly. For a little girl to rest contended in the generous provision of her family and enjoy the satisfaction of finding all she wants beyond the borders of her hiding places requires a surrender to the trust in the goodness of her parents, the generosity of her family.
The only secret hiding place that God requires us to make in this world is our hearts and the only treasure he calls us to store up is the treasure of Christ and His Word in our hearts. But to bind our hearts to the eternal truths of God, to be gripped and moved by them, means holding lightly to the promises of the world. And mercifully, graciously, in His word, God reveals he is the eternal protector of our hearts, of his word sealed up in our hearts by his Spirit who continuously witnesses, assures, challenges and convicts our hearts by the power of His word out of his perfect and steadfast love for us.
As the parent who knows and discovers the state of her child’s hiding places and catches glimpses of the heart that hoards and hides, our perfect, all knowing, perfectly wise and loving Heavenly Father knows what we hide, pretend we keep secret in our hearts, and the work of His Spirit can be painful in loosening our grip, in uncovering what we keep ‘hidden’. Nothing surprises Him as he works to loosen our grip on our earthly treasure, our status, our future security, our bank balances, our children’s education, our routines, our plans, our looks. As He works to bind us more tightly to Him, He reveals Himself as abundant in generosity, and grips our hearts to hold tightly to His beauty, glory and excellency that far surpasses anything we can begin to desire from the world.
He is the protector of our future, guarding our inheritance, kept imperishable and undefiled in heaven for us. He is the protector of his children, not loosening his grip on us, continuing the work he has begun in us until the day he welcomes us home. Eternal truths stored up as treasure in the hiding places of his children’s hearts, sealed by the Spirit.
Hidden treasure empowering his cherished, precious children to cling to Christ alone, and freeing us to abandon our insecure lordly coveting and hiding in exchange for lives hidden with Christ in God, lives of servant hearted abundant generosity and surrender. Hearts filled with love for Christ as their treasure have no fear of loss for all is gained and no fear of future for that is secured, no need to hoard for the generosity of God has and will provide abundantly more than all we can imagine.