Forfeited blessing! Forfeited treasure! Few things in life are more tragic!
I have a picture in my mind this morning of an individual who is invited on an expedition to discover and share treasure of incredible proportions. Everything points to its authenticity! By every assessment it really exists! There is a reliable map and it appears to be genuine. The guide is reliable – he has led other expeditions. The challenge? It is a long journey, the terrain is difficult and the map is detailed.
The journey begins and the trip is arduous. Nothing comes easy here… The search is difficult and long – twists and turns, steep and difficult terrain, and months of travel with terrible weather. Weariness sets in, discouragement dogs those on the expedition. The guide seeks to encourage those on the journey with the expectation of treasure. One traveler especially is critical of the guide’s leadership, at every turn he questions the map, on more than one occasion he threatens to go his own way… Finally he does… He strikes out on his own and refuses to follow the guide…
Days later… The guide leads the obedient and faithful followers into a cave and there it is… Incredible treasure! Untold blessing to be shared by all! And the pilgrim who struck out on his own? Where is he? Forfeited blessing! Forfeited treasure! A tragedy!!
I know… It’s just a parable! But behind it is something of a reality that came to mind as I thought about the truth presented in Jeremiah 17:5-8 this morning during “coffee with the Lord”…
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.’”
Don’t know about you, but I intend to keep on trusting my Heavenly Guide and the map to untold treasure He has provided (the Bible). I know the trip is arduous and filled with temptation and danger. There are times you just would like to give up and perhaps strike out on your own… but I’m not going to do it! I intend to keep trusting in the Lord! At the end of this journey is untold blessing – incredible treasure!