A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled up clay and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man so he took the bag out of the cave with him.
As he strolled along the beach, to pass the time, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could throw. He thought little about it until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone. Excited the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollar’s worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left, then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves.
Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he just threw it away. It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it, we see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person by God.
There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth. May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see people as God sees them.
There are four ways we can few ourselves: The way we see ourselves. The way others see us. The way we think others see us. And most importantly, how God sees us. Don’t let our changing culture with its distorted view of God cripple your effectiveness or your faith. More important than who you are is Whose you are. We are God’s children and heirs to the throne. Praise God!
When the Apostle Paul faced challenges from false teachers about his integrity he put things into perspective:
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corth. 4:7-9
Let us remember to fight the good fight and to keep our focus on the ultimate prize. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21
You are a treasure from God. What are the spiritual gifts (I Corth.12 and Romans 12) that God has given you?
How are you using the hidden treasures in your life?
Why would Jesus say in Matt.13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field”?