There are two interesting stories that portray similar spiritual principles.
The first story was told by Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, about a Texas sheep rancher during the depression years when times were very hard and there was rarely enough income to pay all the bills. Consequently, many families had to depend on government assistance for just the bare essentials – food and clothing. This family was no different, and they reached the point where they were in danger of losing everything. Then, quite unexpectedly, a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area. They suggested that there might be oil on the land. The rancher granted the company permission to drill, and was astounded when they struck a huge oil reserve at little more than a thousand feet! The very first well produced 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells produced more than twice that much! And the rancher owned it all !! In Texas, a land-owner also owned the sub-surface mineral rights! The problem was that he hadn’t known the oil was there – even though he owned it !!
The other story was told in a 1987 issue of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, about a North Carolina “rock hound.” Like many in the trade, Rob Cutshaw hunted for rocks in the nearby hills and caves, and then sold them to collectors or jewelry makers. He did not claim to be an expert, but he knew enough to recognize those rocks that were nice enough to sell to collectors and jewelers. Rob enjoyed his work, although it didn’t always make enough to pay the bills. A number of years ago, while on a dig, he discovered a rock that even he could tell was valuable. After trying to sell it, without success, he stashed it under his bed. He thought that the blue-colored stone should sell for a good price – maybe as much as $500.00 – but he would have taken less if some emergency had presented itself. For 20 years that rock stayed under Rob’s bed. But the day came when he showed it to an expert, and then discovered, to his utter amazement, that it was nearly priceless. After the stone was cut and polished, and named “The Star of David Sapphire” it weighed nearly a pound and could easily sell for several million dollars!
Unfortunately, many Christians live in spiritual poverty, even though they have access to the ‘mines’ of God’s untold riches. I recalled again the verse in Isaiah (45:3) referring to the “hidden riches of secret places.” That we may know that He is God, He has promised to give us those hidden riches! Peter tells us that “…His Divine power has given to us all things that are needful for life and Godliness, through our knowledge of Him Who has appealed to us by His own glorious perfections. It is by means of these that He has granted us His precious and wondrous promises, in order that through them we may become sharers in the very nature of God…” Paul reveals more: “…all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are stored up, and hidden from view, in Christ!” In the Person of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the embodiment of all the Wealth of Heaven. He is God’s “Unspeakably Precious Gift.” He is the “Pearl of Great Price.” (2 Pet. 1:4,5; Col.2:3; 2 Cor. 9:15; Matt. 13:46; Weymouth)
May we all rejoice to experience – as expressed in this 17th century hymn composed by John Mason (1645-1694),
I’VE FOUND the “Pearl of greatest price,”
My heart sings out for joy;
And sing I must, for Christ I have -
Oh, what a Christ have I
My Christ – He is the “Lord of lords,”
The Sovereign “King of kings,”
The risen “Sun of Righteousness,
With healing in His wings.”
My Christ – He is the “Tree of Life,”
That in God’s Eden grows,
The living “clear as crystal” Stream
Whence Life forever flows.
Christ is my Meat, Christ is my Drink,
My Medicine and Health;
My Portion, my Inheritance,
Yes, all my BOUNDLESS WEALTH!
Let us not be ignorant of those “precious and wondrous promises,” and the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” which are found in Christ Jesus. Or struggle to make it on our own when we have been given the energizing power of the Holy Spirit. Or be spiritually impoverished when He has given us all things necessary for an abundant and overcoming life.
Now may the God of HOPE
make you full of joy and peace through faith,
so that all HOPE may be yours
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13 Bible in Basic English)
In Agape, Eulene