The Kingdom of God

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.”

What happens after the man buys the field? His friends and family mock him for selling everything, all his worldly ‘treasures’ to buy a seemingly worthless piece of land. Where is this so-called treasure, they may ask. What does it look like? Are you sure it exists? Did you dream it up, imagine it? How foolish of you to sell all you had for something you only hope there is more of. How does the man respond to all these jibes? He may lose honor and status in the world. He may lose the respect of those he loves. Yet he sacrifices these for what he knows and believes he has found, and for the hope of something even better. He struggles through the persecution for the ‘Kingdom of God is at hand’.

Fighting through the tribulations, he spends his days digging up his land to discover more treasure. For the joy he felt when he first discovered the treasure was immeasurable. He toils in the heat, alone, hour after hour looking for the gold. Some days are fruitful, on others he returns empty handed. He cries and agonizes and doubts there is more but the memory of knowing what he found propels him to the next day. And he digs again. The hope of tomorrow, the promise of the riches sustain him.

He finds others who believe him, who similarly gave up everything to find their own treasure. They share with him ideas on where to search, how to dig and even help him plough through. They work with him and rest with him. They rejoice with him. They are the people of God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.

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Suffering, Love and Healing

When I feel disappointed or hurt or impatient, I feel let down. Let down by God. And when the pain persists, I feel victimized. I wallow in my pain, feeling sorry for myself and outwardly blaming others. Or if not others, then God. I blame God for letting ‘this’ happen. For allowing it to happen to me.

Today by the Grace of God it struck me – Who are you a victim of? Are you a victim of God?! How can that be?! How can my ever loving, merciful, graceful, charitable Father victimize me? Even this thought is disgusting. It is absurd. So if I believe that Jesus loves me and wants me to be happy and does not willfully victimize me, does that mean he’s letting ‘this’ be done to me out of helplessness, or coercion, or powerlessness? That thought is fully untrue and in the depth of lies too. My God is Almighty. He is all powerful and glorious. My God is sovereign. He is the Supreme Being. All is through Him and without Him is nothing.

So that must mean that ‘this’ that is being done to me is not something that God has to accommodate or concede, but something that he is willingly giving to me, it is as per His plan. This pain, too, then is part of His plan. So we have to learn to love pain because it is part of the process of cleansing and a small price to pay for the good it eventually bestows on us.

When a mother lets a nurse administer an injection or vaccine to her child, the child may momentarily cry out in pain. But the mother knows that the pain is temporary and necessary for the medicine to get absorbed into the child’s sick body. She understands that it is for the good of the child. The child can, in that moment, get upset with her mother and complain and ask how she could let this happen to her. To give her pain? How could she allow it? It must either mean that she doesn’t love her or that she has no power over the one who is hurting her. But it is not so. Her mother is not powerless over the nurse, but out of unconditional love for her child, oversees the procedure while holding the child close to her the entire time. She also silently weeps with the inconsolable child. So is God close to us in our pain, comforting us, soothing us, as we cry out. We may not understand how the medicine will work but can only feel the pain of the prick. But it is precisely when we feel the prick that we can know that we will now be healed.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.