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
The day for the man was like any other. Just another day working in somebody else’s field. He swung his hoe over and over removing weeds and rocks. This field, that field, after a while they all looked the same. The work didn’t vary. Lift and whack. Lift and whack. Whack, whack, whack. He squinted at the sun and shook his head. Still a couple of hours til lunch. His thoughts wandered to his wife’s lentil stew and fresh bread. Once again he lifted the hoe and heard the whack, whack, wha….thud. He looked at the dent the rock had put in his hoe. Thankfully he could still use it. He knelt down to work on removing the rock from the soil. His fingers explored the edges of the rock. He scraped away and unearthed not a rock, but a box. His heart beat a little faster. Had he discovered a treasure someone had buried and then forgotten? He continued to scrape around the edges of the box. Finally his efforts produced enough results that he could remove the lid. His eyes opened wide and would have opened even wider if it had been physically possible. He glanced around, just to make sure he really was alone in the field. He hurriedly recovered the box with the hard dry soil and placed a small pile of stones over the treasure box. He left the field and rushed home.
He ducked through the front door. His wife looked up in surprise from feeding the baby. A worried look crossed her face. “Is everything ok? What are you doing home this time of day?” He crossed the room and grabbed her in a huge hug. She pulled away and asked again, “Are you ok?” His wild grin made her think that maybe the sun had affected his brain. She watched him dance around the room pausing just long enough to reply, “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I was hoeing a field and found a buried treasure in the field I was working in today. We need to sell everything we own and buy the field.” Then he grabbed her in another hug and danced her around the small room.
3 months later.
Finally everything was sold, down to the baby’s only blanket. But, it was done and they had just enough money to buy the field. They would be millionaires. He moved his family into a small hut on the property. It was almost dark, but the excitement that jittered through him propelled him to go out to the field and dig up the treasure. He jogged to the place where the box was buried. His hoe whacked through the dirt and soon created a huge hole. He sat on his haunches and sifted through the dirt. Nothing but rocks and a few bugs. His jumbled thoughts left him confused. The stars twinkled down at him as he stood up and trudged wearily home. He fell exhausted onto his sleeping mat. In his sleep a giant bear dug up his treasure and buried it in a cave.
The man awoke with the sun determined to find the treasure. He didn’t wait for breakfast, just picked up his hoe and walked back to where he had dug the night before. Maybe he had just missed seeing the box in the dark. He got down on his hands and knees and sifted thru the rocks again. Nothing. Well, now was not the time to give up. He had just begun his search. As he surveyed the area he thought he discovered where he had gone wrong the night before in the near darkness. This it was! With renewed excitement he swung the hoe. Whack, whack, whack, the hoe scraped noisily against the rocks. Thud, That was it! He knew that sound and excitedly dropped to his knees to investigate. His face fell when he saw an old wooden bowl now cracked in two thanks to his hoe. He sighed and resigned himself to swinging the hoe once again.
He spent the entire day swinging the hoe at various places around his newly purchased property. When the sun disappeared over the horizon he once again trudged home. His stomach rumbled. In the intensity of finding the treasure all thought of food vanished from his thoughts. He ducked to step through the door of the hut. There was only bread to eat, but after a hard days work it tasted as sumptuous as a kings banquet.
Every day he arose with the sun. Six weeks of relentless searching and hoeing and still he hadn’t found the treasure. The entire property showed the results of his hard work. He mused that if he didn’t find the treasure at least the ground would be ready to plant. That is he could plant if someone would lend him the seed to do it. He had spent every last cent on this place. Discouragement crept into his soul. Even the weather seemed to be against him. The days of rain turned the dirt to mud. He came to a decision, he wouldn’t dig anymore. No, he couldn’t dig anymore.
That night the man slept like one of the rocks in his field. He slept late and opened his eyes to the sun shining through the front door. His nose tickled with pleasure at the smell of fresh bread. His wife sat in the corner playing peek-a-boo with the baby. How could he give up now? His heart wouldn’t let him. He must find the treasure. He would find it, he had to, it meant everything to him. The treasure was his obsession, it beckoned him, he would not give up. He kissed his wife and baby good-bye and with renewed energy picked up his hoe and walked out to the field once again. He lifted his hoe with determination and swung. Over and over the hoe dug into the earth. Whack, whack, whack. Then a thud. He didn’t get excited over the thuds anymore, he just bent over to take a look at what piece of junk he had found this time. His dirt stained fingers dug around the object. He saw the edge of the box and his heart skipped a beat…..could it be? Could it really be “the box?” All his searching, all his obsessive desire to find the box and now he held it in his hands.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13