“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:20-21
Last week after a very long day at work, I found myself famished, frustrated, and “over it.” I wanted nothing more than to grab some fast food and lose myself in the confines of my home and a good movie. I spent the greater part of an hour mulling over which place I would fancy with my business, only to hear a very familiar voice in my heartstrings. I could almost audibly hear my beloved mother say, “There is food at home!” If that wasn’t odd enough, I argued back and forth with my thoughts, trying hard to justify spending the money to satiate my nerves from the course of the day. Then it hit me! There was a teach in my reach!
A few weeks ago, intrigue evolved into deep concern as we watched a world pandemic make its way onto the shores of America. We began to see erratic behavior, social media commentary, and the infamous “toilet tissue” catastrophe unfold right before our eyes. No one knew how to fix the unease in our hearts, and many have yet to experience peace since hearing about it. It seemed that one day all was at ease, and the next, there was complete pandemonium. People have been looking for answers.
Jesus loved times like these! Not because of confusion, but because He knew that He was the solution. As a brief sidebar, when you carry the answer, you never worry about the problem. The past few weeks have been very telling for many political and spiritual leaders, as we have seen so many true colors through this. But leaders emerge in emergencies! They do not become apart of the problem. In the sixth chapter of Matthew, we find very familiar scriptures that we often rush through. Jesus has already told us how to manage life, but in this one chapter, He gives us nuggets on how to operate in righteousness, respond publicly, pray properly, and how to fast. He showed us what to stock our homes with! The whole of life is about fixing oneself from the inside out. Because we are perpetual students of life, it is our right and responsibility to be in such a constant state of repair that we have no time to shame, shun, or worry about others and their faults. But what’s more, we see that our reactions often hold twice the weight of an issue itself. It is very easy to give grandiose speeches on social media streets or become extremely dogmatic in our approach to assisting others in navigating the journey to peace. What, then, will help us through the next few weeks and days to come? It is as simple as the advice our mothers would often give us.
Jesus reminded the people not to store up treasures on Earth. This wasn’t a browbeating of those who like finer things, but rather a reminder of value. What matters most to you is revealed in what you say and what you focus on. Many people have scoured the shelves of grocery and liquor stores, making every advancement to stock their homes with what would appear to be essentials. What we have forgotten is that, like the voice of my mother, what you really need is already in the confines of your spiritual cupboards. Peace is not in things. No amount of toilet paper can give you what prayer, worship, and an active study life in the Word of God can afford.
I would not dare exchange practical application with spiritual revelation, as they work hand in hand. But in the same way, I had to be reminded that an emotional day was about to cause me to spend unnecessary money on a temporal fix, we are in desperate need of a spiritual reminder. Fear, like other emotions, often activates memory loss. We have forgotten what we are made of. We have forgotten how we’ve come this far. It is the same formidable courage, unapologetic faith, and indomitable spirit that got us to this very place in time that will keep you when all seems bleak. All of this is in our DNA and our spiritual cupboard! Whatsoever things are pure, true, just, and praiseworthy-think on these things. Allow the peace of God to consume you in this season. This is vital because we make better practical decisions when we have spiritual assurance. Even in the midst of looming uncertainty, you don’t need to search anywhere else. There is food-spiritual wealth, health, and assurance-right at home. You don’t need that fear, worry, or extra toilet paper. You have stuff at home! Meet me in the prayer cupboard!