“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).

There were no banks in ancient times such as we have now, and people who possessed valuable property would often hide it in their fields and in out-of-the-way places. The figure is that of a man who was not looking for treasure but in digging his field came upon it without anticipation, and therefore his joy was the greater. Without a doubt, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field; it is a continual surprise. God is able to do abundantly above all that we ask or think, and He does so all the time. We cannot raise our expectancy to the height of heaven, but expectation is not forbidden. We dream of heaven and talk of it because, when we have formed our own heaven in the innermost and highest places of our imaginations, it falls short of the reality only by infinity.

Take, for example, the testimony of every student of the Bible. They are the ones who are entitled to testify. Such persons are filled with amazement, new light startles them, unheard music holds their soul in glad enthrallment, presences rise before them, and angels wrestle with them in power that is meant not to destroy but to save and to bless. So, the old man closing his Bible says, “The last vision was the brightest; the last song was the sweetest. I never knew what this Bible was until now. All the old passages glow with a new meaning; all the sweet and sacred promises come with a deeper significance and more ineffable sweetness. Every time I conclude my exposition of holy Scripture, I have not even begun to touch its infinite meaning.”

Adapted from In His Presence