Matthew 6:19-20 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. KJV
Why God chose us as missionaries, we’ll never know until we get to Heaven. After many months of praying for God’s will, my husband was certain that it was meant for us to be missionaries in a foreign land.
We knew that where we were going there would no longer be worries of what to wear, or where to stop for dinner. Our concerns would turn to helping the homeless find shelter, the hungry find food, and giving clothing to those without. I didn’t know if we could release the things of luxury that we had depended on for so long, or if we could really grab on to those verses in Matthew 6 and let go of worldly possessions. But this was what God wanted us to do, so we had to do it.
For weeks we had filtered through closets, drawers, boxes, and corners trying to decide what to keep and what to sell. I knew deep in my heart that most of what we had wasn’t needed. The journey that we would embark on did not allow for such frivolity. Only the necessities would go with us, and we had faith that God would give us whatever we needed from there.
On the plane, I wiped tear after tear, praying that the Lord would strengthen me. Inside my heart, I really didn’t look forward to living with a tribe of people that I had never met. My husband and I had studied the language and the culture, but we knew that it would not be real to us until we got there. I could never tell him my feelings about this new home that we headed to. I wanted so badly to have the burden that he had for these people.
Oh, I knew that they needed help, but it just felt so unfair. Why us? I loved our life just the way it was. We were full time Youth ministers at our church with a nice income. Wasn’t that enough?
I opened my Bible and read those words in chapter six of Matthew again. I had been focusing on verses 19 – 21 for the past weeks. I knew that God was keeping me there to let it sink in. In my mind I was going through the boxes of things I had sold at our yard sale and the things that I had given to the Good Will. I could imagine Jesus picking up each item and placing it on the coals of fire. There was nothing left when he finished.
I started to think of what I would have to give to Jesus when I made it to Heaven. He wouldn’t need my designer clothing, the furniture that we paid high dollar for on Earth would not be allowed in Glory, and jewelry would certainly not be needed in a place where streets were made of gold. What did I have to give then? Again, the tears fell and the sobs came. My husband held my hand. He had no idea of what was going on in my head, but he must have been feeling some of what I was feeling. When I looked at him, his eyes were filled with tears too. Maybe he had been praying that the Lord would show me what He wanted of me. Maybe he too had been thinking of what we were giving up for the gain of the Lord.
I had to give my life completely to Jesus. He had my heart already, but it was time for action on my part. I needed to share what I had with those who had nothing. They may be poor, but if they’d accept Jesus, they could be part of a royal family.
Now as I sit and write these words I know that the future will be hard for us, but Jesus will be with us. I can confidently wake up in the morning and look forward to our first meeting in our small hut. We have several folks that have promised to come, maybe more out of curiosity about us than to hear the Word of God. But that’s okay. One day they will see.
As for the things that I have given up, God has given me peace. I can now be thankful for the treasures that I look forward to in Heaven.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.