You Can Buy the Field
I’m outside the sanctuary again, straining to hear a muffled sermon or catch words in a worship song. I’m outside in the hallway because the baby is crying. Because church falls during naptime or because she won’t stay in the nursery, or for one of a million different reasons, in this season I often find myself on the outside looking in. Missing sermons. Interrupted during worship. And that lie, that sneakiest of lies fed on sleep deprivation and the frustration of getting everybody out the door to go to a service that I don’t get to participate in… creeps in. Is this really for you? Do you have a place here? Would it be any different if you just stayed at home?
At such times the treasure of a deep spiritual life seems out of reach. It seems like something for people with more energy or brainpower or patience. Like something I had once in college and might have again in 15 years. It seems like right now I can’t afford it. Like a child with face pressed against a store window display who doesn’t have enough money to buy what she’s drooling over.
Yesterday I read the parable of the hidden treasure in Matthew 13:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
The devotional commentary on the passage spoke to me: “He [the man in the parable] did not have enough to buy the treasure. Fortunately, he only needed enough to buy the field. In a similar fashion, God offers his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy as an incomparable treasure at a price we can afford.” (Don Schwager, Daily Scripture)
He whispers to you, sleep-deprived and discouraged: You can buy the field. You can afford the place where this treasure is found… a life walking with Jesus. A life of prayer, sacrifice, discipleship. You can afford it, though it will come at the cost of any other kind of life. You can afford it, but it will cost you everything.
The difference between whether this statement makes you excited or weighs on you heavily depends on if you know, really know by experience, what’s in the field. When I think only of the cost, I start to think like the world… I see the craziness of what it costs to buy this (seemingly random) field. But an encounter with Jesus, with the living God, is like the moment when you realize what really lies in the field. When your shovel hits buried treasure. When selling everything seems like an amazing deal compared with what you are gaining.
Mamas, mentors, caregivers, my prayer for you, for us, is twofold:
1. That you would know that joy that makes all costs more than worth it. That every time you are reminded of what it costs to follow Jesus in your daily life with little ones, in being faithful to your spiritual commitments, in fighting for a prayer time, in saying yes to a hospitality request, you are also reminded, nearly overtaken by joy in realizing what you have now gained in Christ.
2. That you find peace in knowing you only need to buy the field, and you can afford it. If you trade your desires for your life for his desires for your life, he will show you the treasure. That means that deep spiritual life you crave is within your reach. Discipleship and motherhood can go together. You can thrive spiritually, even when circumstances whisper otherwise.
So go… buy the field. Fight for your time with the Lord. Wrangle your babies in church. Ask God to show you the hidden treasure in the little things and the joy that makes all costs laughable.
By Amy Hughes
For more about Amy, check out her Bio on the "About us" page