Set Aside For Us!
Read: Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Peter 1:3-5
A few months ago, the gardening shows started coming on TV in earnest. Even though it was much too early to plant here, we began to think and get excited about replacements we might purchase to fill in the spots where last year's hail had taken its toll. The roses had really taken a hit; so, we reserved not only some bare root roses but also some of the minis. It was good to know that they were set aside for us. Ready to be received by us at just the right time for planting. However, last week I received an e-mail. One of the plant orders had been canceled. No explanation from the vendor. Evidently something unforeseen had occurred, either man caused or weather related. We wouldn't have to pay for what we didn't receive, but I was reminded once again of the uncertainty of what is set aside for us here where disappointment is often the outcome, in spite of our good planning. Thankfully, it isn't always that way.
This morning when my husband stepped out on to the deck, a box was waiting. The mini-roses were tucked inside, and they already have tiny blossoms. May those who see their beauty come to know and love the Creator/Redeemer Who gave us beautiful flowers along with all that He created, John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; John 1:10. However, even though we have received the plants that were set aside for us, the amount of time they will live and their productivity is uncertain. We can water them, give them food and lots of sunlight, but their survival and how they thrive is tenuous. They are vulnerable to weather, pests or blight. Several years ago, most of the town's McIntosh apple trees were struck with a blight, and I remember the year that grasshoppers devoured our beautiful bright yellow hibiscus. Sadly, what we set aside as a display of God's glory is often destroyed by elements that we can't control. We simply can't keep things safe here even though we keep trying to do so. Even so, once in a while we discover something that we have set aside that we have forgotten about. A sweet surprise. More about that later.
For now, let's rejoice together concerning what God sets aside for us and how safe and secure it is because He is the One doing the keeping. In Matthew 6:19-21 and also in 1 Peter 1:3-5, we are reminded that the treasure that is set aside for us in God's care, is absolutely secure. Its value will not diminish over time. What God is keeping for His children won't change value because of the whims of men or their opinions. It is the Lord alone Who oversees each of his sons' and daughters' treasures, and He takes note of even the smallest detail, Matthew 10:42;1 Corinthians 15:58.
No wonder Romans 8:18 can make such a bold statement: ‘What we endure here-even though the Bible speaks of fiery trials-can't be compared with the glory that awaits us in heaven.’ Sometimes that truth is so difficult to take in, especially when we hurt deeply. Even so, God's truth is meant to be soothing and strengthening at the same time. His words provide a balm and a stronghold for us. Romans 8:18 does not minimize the sorrows of this world; instead it is a reminder that a day is coming when God's presence and prepared place will bring us unspeakable joy, far greater than the pain caused by our present trials.
In 2 Timothy 4:8 Paul speaks of the crown of life that awaited him and all of those who long for Jesus' appearing. I don't know what that will look like, but that scripture is one more reminder that God has special treasure set aside for us, and nothing can destroy it.
There's more. King David spoke about a very special treasure who was being kept in heaven for him. When David's son was ill, he cried out to God for the baby's healing.
God had said that this illness was a consequence of David's sin with Bathsheba. While David hoped and prayed for the little one's restoration, he fasted; however, when the child died, David washed and ate. This confused his servants who had been afraid to tell the king that his son had died. It is then that David comforted himself and us with a very precious truth. He knew that his son wouldn't come back to him on the earth; however, the king knew that someday, he would once again be with his son, 2 Samuel 12:14-23. We would say that David knew that his son was waiting for him in heaven.
Safe and secure along with those who die in innocence, unable to see their need for a Savior, or those who have received Him as Savior and Lord.
Back to something we had forgotten about. A sweet surprise for us.
Several years ago, I was moving a box of empty canning jars when I discovered the treasure. One quart of hidden cinnamon pears. For some unknown reason, I had put the full sealed jar in with the empties, and there it stayed for about a year. What a fun surprise, and it was especially tasty too. I wonder how many sweet surprises await us in heaven? People we have touched for Jesus without knowing it and seemingly small things we have done or said that the Savior has noted. He has set aside unfading treasure for us, not because we deserve it but because that is His nature to lavish His love on us.
Matthew 6:21 reminds us that where our treasure is stored, that is where our emphasis is. Such knowledge does not remove the disappointments and sadness that sometimes floods into our lives; however, we are comforted with the knowledge that we are being kept by the One Who keeps our treasure in heaven, 1Peter 1:3-5.