Letting You in On a Secret

Buried treasure.

Isn’t it fascinating?

Just the thought that a person could stumble on some hidden, ancient artifact or a chest of pirate’s gold stirs something deep within us.

We never outgrow the stories of people who search, braving dangers, enduring hardships, ignoring scoffers, leaving the comforts of home, taking unimaginable risks and then reaping the reward of untold treasure, hidden and unreachable to any unwilling to follow the same path.

This popular theme of storybooks and movies is echoed on reality television these days in shows that follow everyday people to storage units, pawn shops, and consignment stores searching for the ever elusive “find of a lifetime.”


Some would say it’s our inherited bent toward sin – the drive to reap what we didn’t earn, the burning greed of the big win, the selfish drive to claim what isn’t ours.

That could be it.

But, before we fell from grace, we were the glorious cap of creation made in our Father’s image. I think that, knowing what lay before us, our wise God hardwired into our design this love of buried treasure.

He knew that no matter how far we wandered from our home in Him, He could activate this embedded homing device planted in a safe place in our hearts. He designed it to awaken within us a distant memory of our life with Him, knowing it would inspire some of us to put our feet on the path of adventure.

He knew that we few, the treasure hunters of each age, would brave every danger, risk every comfort, and overcome every obstacle to regain the golden kingdom that once was our birthright, stolen from us by the evil one when he conspired with our grandparents, Adam and Eve, to destroy what God had designed in us.

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

Like the very best treasure, it’s not buried in an easy place to reach. Often, the path leads through dark places, hardship, suffering, loss, self-denial, and death of all the dreams our ancestors told us were good. We sometimes believe the search will kill us before we attain the prize.

But we are secured to our belay partner, Jesus, by the powerful, scarlet rope of His shed blood and so we can scale the heights or plumb the depths knowing we travel safe.

Ask any believer who has suffered or endured great hardships and they will tell you that in their darkest hour, Jesus was there. To not suffer is to know that by faith, but to suffer and to endure is to find the priceless treasure of knowing that there is no place we can go that Jesus will not travel with us. And it is to learn the way to that treasure so we can tell others.

If you face this advent season with a cup overflowing with troubles. If Hallmark commercials make you weep for all that is lacking in your life. If physical pain or fresh loss, financial hardship or disease, devastating or disappointing relationships are the soundtrack for your season, take heart. This is the path Jesus took when He came to be our Emmanuel, God with us.

He was poor. He was betrayed. People sought His life. He disappointed some. He angered others. His family thought He was mad. There was nothing in His appearance that attracted us to Him. He suffered physical pain. He had no home nor wealth. He enjoyed popularity and then rejection on a massive scale. He loved people only to watch them walk away.

To know Jesus means to sometimes follow Him down these agonizing roads even when the rest of the planet is shopping for diamonds and toasting each other’s health and success.

But it is also to find the buried treasure of the kingdom of God.

X marks the spot.

Kind of like the legs of a manger, or the stripes of a whip on human flesh or the beams of a cross.

Think about it, fellow adventurer, and hold on.

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1 Comment

    The Conversation

  1. Leslie Payne says:

    Lori, what a great word picture, Jesus as our belay partner. Before my life changing auto accident I was able to do a little rock climbing. There was one incident I was on a ledge and paniced. I could hear my partners above and below, but they were out of sight. It was the most vivid I’ve ever heard the Lord audibly speak when He whispered to me, “I’m with you on all the lonely ledges.” That experience was **amazing** encouragement during the very difficult years I was recovering from the accident.