Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid: and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
    — Matthew 13:44
     Photo Credit:  Simon Wilkes

    Photo Credit: Simon Wilkes

    Growing up I read the Bible to find out what I needed to do and how I needed to act rather than to know God. Although, I had a love for scripture (that I now understand is by no merit of my own, but a God-given gift) I didn’t see the grand narrative of redemption because I didn’t know to look for it. I didn’t know God’s redemptive plan was woven in from Genesis to Revelation and parables like this one, rather than being instruction for me, were actually revealing something intrinsic to the nature of God and the way He interacts with us. 

    Since I was always reading to find the application I assumed the main character talked about in this short parable, stuffed in the middle of Jesus’ discourse on the kingdom of heaven, was me or you. Obviously, what we’re supposed do is give up everything we have because we’re so happy we’ve finally found the kingdom, right? That’s the application. Count the cost to get the kingdom. 

    But here’s the catch, we have nothing to offer. And why am I buying a field? Every word Jesus spoke was intentional. We can’t just ignore the details we can’t explain. If I sold everything to purchase the field that the treasure was buried in, as it pertains to the good news of the Gospel, that doesn’t make much sense. Why would I buy the whole field when I can freely accept the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for my sin?  If you’re still hung up on this, let me put it this way, there is nothing you or I have that could ever purchase our redemption. But when we receive the good news everything we once held of value will pale in comparison to the riches of Christ. What a convicting thought! But the idea of us being the main character just doesn't fit within the context of the parable.

    Rather, this story shows the incredibly intentional nature of our redeeming God and the man in this parable undeniably represents Jesus. 

    If that man is Jesus and the field is the world (vs. 38), then him selling everything and purchasing the entire field because of the treasure he finds there makes sense. Jesus has something to offer: His deity and His life.

    In the parable, this man is overwhelmed with joy when He finds the kingdom of heaven. But He can’t just take it. That’s not how it works. Because God is just, it has to be done the right way. So, the man hides the treasure right in the middle of the ordinary place he found it so that he can go sell everything he owns to buy something that only he understands the immense value of.

    But if the man represents Jesus why would the King of kings and the King of heaven need to sell everything to buy the kingdom of heaven? What is the “kingdom of heaven”? It’s not talking about what we typically envision when we think of a kingdom. I don’t know about you, but I generally think castles and princesses and dragons because I’m kind of a nerd and I like stuff like that. But what the phrase, “kingdom of heaven,” is talking about here is the rule and reign of heaven, God’s rule and reign. So basically, Jesus is bringing God’s way of doing things in heaven to earth. 

    Due to man’s rebellion, the rule and reign of heaven on earth and in the hearts of men had to be purchased back. The price tag on this process would cost God everything. Much like the man who expresses so much joy at discovering the treasure, we see Jesus “who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross”. 

    Jesus went on the greatest rescue mission imaginable; He gave up the comfort of heaven to bring the kingdom of heaven to us. He gave up everything He had to buy back a broken world, so that the kingdom of heaven would come to it’s fullest expression in the redemption of man. And that is a really, really good story. It’s a story about how much God values us. It’s a story about how treasured we are.

    Of what great value is the treasure hidden in the field! If we only understood what a treasure we are to the One who has found us! 


    Your kingdom come,

    Your will be done, 

    On earth, as it is in heaven!

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    Other Great Reads


    There are no limits to what God can do with a life that is fully submitted to Him.

    I have wholeheartedly believed this for as long as I can remember. Day in and day out, I live with this deep conviction that He’s for me and when I give Him everything I won’t be disappointed.

    But what about those seasons where I feel hidden? Or when the things I know God has placed inside of me feel like they will never see the light of day? What about the times when my purpose or calling feels distant?


    I think we all go through this at some point. It could be triggered by a move, job change or loss, or transitioning roles. It's not uncommon and I know I'm not alone. 

    Take Joseph for example. Dude was so hidden. You can find his story in Genesis 37-45

    Joseph, who dreamed his brothers would one day bow down to him, is sold into slavery by these same brothers. He finds himself in a seemingly hopeless situation, hidden for forty years before his dreams actually come to pass.  

    In the end, God strategically used Joseph's season of hiddenness to showcase His glory. 

    Over the years God has patiently shown me how to embrace seasons of hiddenness.

    As I’ve yielded to the Holy Spirit in these seasons, He has grown me in ways that I wouldn’t trade for anything. He has enlarged my capacity to just be with Him and I treasure the time I have come to set aside to listen and surrender. These are the moments where everything else falls away and I am His beloved. 

    From these encounters, I wanted to share some the things I've learned with you.

    Faithfulness in Hiddenness

    When it feels like your God-given gifts aren’t being utilized in the way you had hoped, it doesn’t mean you should ignore them.

    You’re called to faithfulness in hiddenness because God doesn’t invest something in us that He doesn’t intend to get a return on. That return is always about bringing Him glory so that He can draw people to Himself. (2 Timothy 1:14) It may not look like what you thought, but that’s mostly because you don’t see like He does. Rest assured, faithfulness will yield results. 

    Ephesians 2:10 says that God prepared good works for us ahead of time so that we could walk in them, but we have to be ready to walk in what He has prepared. This requires faithfulness on our part. 

    Also, if you love something, you’re not going to stop growing or investing in that area just because no one is watching, right? What a sobering thought to let sink in. 

    Contentment in Hiddenness

    Rest requires trust. A lot of it. 

    It's not easy. Rest is so contrary to our human nature that we often forget that this is God's plan and if He has us in a place where we feel “hidden,” then it's for a good reason.

    His plans have always been so much better than mine. They are always so much bigger. When I look back I see His strategy in every step and every move. I also see the times where I became anxious and tried to move things in a certain direction. Almost like I was telling God, "You're just not moving fast enough. I've got it from here." Looking back, I laugh at myself realizing how foolish it was to think I was in control. Self-promotion is a very real temptation when you feel like the world is telling you that you're getting too old or pretty soon you won't have anything to offer. But when we wholeheartedly trust God to do the heavy lifting we can rest and there is nothing like it.

    David (from the Bible) was anointed as king long before he ever took the throne. In the interim, the king he was supposed to replace was actively trying to kill him. Instead of retaliating when he had the chance, David chose mercy. King Saul, however, was so afraid of losing the position, which had become his identity, that he became obsessed with killing David.

    While David is a great example of contentment in hiddenness, Saul is a great example of the fear and obsession that results from finding one’s identity in a position or title. (1 Samuel 16-31

    Prayerfulness in Hiddenness

    Prayer is a divine alignment of our will to God’s.

    When we feel hidden to the world around us God wants to reveal that His affirmation and affection are enough to fulfill the longing in our hearts. Only cultivating a deep prayer life will yield the fruit that abiding in Him produces. If you haven’t read John 15 lately, I encourage you to do so…and then I recommend reading it again. 

    The hidden or secret place is where God reveals Himself. As we behold Him, we can’t help but become more like Him. Hiddenness, when embraced, has the potential to produce the kind of character that can withstand the challenges we'll face when our gifts are acknowledged. If we have developed a habit of consistent communion with God, when the time comes, we will offer our gifts as a sacrifice to the God who saved us, loves us, and gives us an identity in Him.

    The Big Picture

    "To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."  Ephesians 3:8-10 ESV

    I want to encourage you to embrace hiddenness. I know it can be frustrating and downright depressing when you don’t feel like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been there. These are the times where God does the deepest work in us–when we learn to love people better and what’s most important. It’s when we cultivate a lasting dependence on God, and in turn, He grows us far beyond the places our own efforts could ever take us. The result is something God can use to draw people to Himself. 

    One more thing: you're not as hidden as you might think.

    People see you and they see the fruit born from your covenant and communion with God. The light inside you shines brighter and brighter with every decision to yield and every moment of surrender. In the end, it's more than worth it. 

    God's plan has always been to reveal the work that He's done in you, to others. It may not be what you expect, but I do know's so much better.


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    An Open Letter to the One Considering Giving Up

    To the one who is considering giving up, 

    Maybe you’re wondering where God was when you needed Him most. When no one else understood and when the pain was too much, God was supposed to be there. He was supposed to fix it. Isn’t that what He does? Make it better? 

    I know you’re tired. I know you feel stuck and that you’d do anything to feel unstuck — even going as far as to do something you know you’d regret. At the end of the day, don’t you just want to remember what this life is for? 

    Maybe you don’t talk to God anymore, at least, not like you used to. It’s not that you’re being dishonest with Him. You know He knows. It’s just not up for discussion, since you decided you already know what He’d say. He would be disappointed, right? He would say, “You knew better”…right? 

    Maybe that’s what you tell yourself and now you feel like you have all the reasons you need to hold Him at arms length. 

    But you can’t keep Him at a safe distance forever. 

    You can do your best to put it off; to deny His existence and live in a kind of willful deception, but there will be a day when you can no longer hide (I know, because I couldn’t hide either).

    What will it be?

    Will it be the realization that you were and still are deeply loved? 

    Will you suddenly have to admit to yourself that you refused God’s love -– the same love that He wanted to lavish upon you, but you didn’t trust Him enough to give you what you needed most? 

    Will it be a humble plea? “I can’t do this anymore.”

    Will you yield to the breaking and the mending?

    He will meet you. 

    Maybe not in the way that you prefer and maybe not in the way that you expect, but at the point when you feel like there’s none of yourself left, He comes in with grace and fills every part.

    Here I am pleading, “Don’t give up hope.”

    But please, give up. Stop fighting God. Maybe after giving it some thought you realize you’re actually trying to punish yourself. You know you don’t deserve His love, so you’ve decided you’re not going to receive it.

    But refusing Him doesn’t make Him sacrificing the life of His Son for your life untrue. Blaming Him for the failures of others and the pain of this fallen world doesn’t mean that the blood of Jesus wasn’t shed on your behalf. 

    I want you to know one thing: He was there when you needed Him most. 

    Your idea of when you needed Him and His omniscient understanding of when you needed Him are two different things. He was there when you were dead in your sins, even when you could do nothing for yourself and had NO HOPE. 

    God came for broken people. He came for people who don’t know how to love or how to forgive. He came for people who are ungrateful and selfish. He came for us. We could never earn His love, so when all is said and done mercy, grace and beauty flow from the cracks of our broken lives. 

    You see, this isn’t just about you. You’re not the only victim of your refusal. Your life relinquished to His care testifies to others of His immense mercy and the unsearchable riches of His multi-faceted grace. 

    He’s there. He wants to heal you. In fact, your healing was purchased at the point when you needed Him most. When the penalty for your sin, and mine, was satisfied on the cross. 



    A fellow sinner saved by grace


    “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

    Romans 5:6


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