The Treasure

seed, harvest
Read Time:11 Minute

Nirel and his wife Carmela live a quiet country life on their seventy-acre farm in a small town nestled between three mountains. Their white two-story farmhouse, with a green tin roof and wood slate barn painted in fire engine red, looked like they were right out of a country lifestyles magazine. The main house faces the valley along the Bedim Mountain Range, where the sun rises and sets in spectacular colors almost every day.

After the last harvest, Nirel began preparing the south field for the next planting season. The area was just around thirty acres. It was now dry land because the landowners widened the river two miles upstream from his property to help with the unprecedented flooding over the past few years. He had to ensure proper moisture by installing an irrigation system. It took some time, but he finished it through hard work and determination before the first snow came. He knew it would be the only field he would be working in come spring.

Each morning, he would rise around 4:00 a.m., collect his great-grandmother’s Bible that he had rebounded, and start for the kitchen. He walked gingerly so as not to wake his wife before he got downstairs.

Once in the kitchen, he carefully ran water in the coffee pot, added the metal filter with grounds, and placed it on the gas stove. Nirel and Carmela were never much for getting too modernized if it wasn’t necessary. They both enjoyed a little coffee grounds in the bottom of their cup and continued using the old percolator their uncle Seth gave them when they were married in July 1953. It reminded them of the first family camping trip they took as newlyweds. A wonderful time when the only things pressing for the day were to see how many fish could be caught and how many stories could be told.

Nirel sat at the table and opened the Bible to get his verse for the day. He began the year in Psalms and had only reached Psalm 3. It was now April. He drank his black coffee in his John Deere mug and repeated aloud, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” And again, just a little louder, more than a whisper, he repeated the verse, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (Psalm 3:3 KJV). He sat in silence as he rolled the verse, over and over, in his mind.

Startled by a lick on the hand from Rex, their 13-year-old hound dog, he gazed out the bay window. He caught a glimpse of the sunlight stretching out for its first touch on the mountain peaks towards the west.

Time to get a move on, he thought. How long had I been sitting here? The green neon glow read 5:30 a.m.

“Shew! Better get a move on Rex!” Nirel exclaimed, hoping Carmela did hear him.

Within minutes, Rex and Nirel were on the tractor heading out to the south field to till the land and prepare for planting. This was his third day, and he knew the field would be ready for some sweet corn seed when he finished.

Rex headed home around lunchtime, realizing he could no longer stay on the tractor’s bench seat for as long as he did in his younger years. Nirel, however, didn’t have that luxury. He only took a brief respite eating his sandwich and sweet tea. It was now 6:00 p.m. and he was finally finished. Or was he just beginning?

Rex sauntered over as Nirel turned off the hose, then stepped up to park in the barn. Carmela always had dinner on the table at 6:30 p.m. If Nirel ran late in the field, she would keep his supper in the oven. They enjoyed sitting together for evening prayer and discussing the events of the day. Some days, it was all good, and some days, things were not so good. This time together was special; they always thanked God for their blessings and struggles since both made them better each day.

A few years back, Nirel had a bumper crop of potatoes. So much so that his bins were still full even after fulfilling his contract with Wrightside Food Distribution. He and Carmela blessed God and thanked Him for His abundance. They sought the Lord’s instruction on what to do with all those potatoes and were led to give them to the local restaurant, but there was one condition. The condition was that they would freely provide potato soup to anyone who needed a meal until the extra potatoes were gone. They were to write it on the sandwich boards outside. Those who could pay would pay, and those who could not would be taken care of.

It was such a great success that the other farmers in the area began to contribute in whatever way they could to help the program. The cooks would make tasty meals from whatever was brought in, and the soup of the day may be creamed corn chowder from the Smiths’ farm or organic vegetable soup from the Furrows’.

The next day the alarm buzzed at 4:00 a.m. Nirel slid out of bed and trekked to the kitchen to start the coffee. He opened his Bible and began to reread Psalm 3. Over and over, he read the words until Rex brushed beside his leg, ready to go out.

“Ok, boy,” he whispered, “let’s get a move on early.”

They went to the barn, loaded the sweet corn seeds, and headed to the field. Nirel knew he would be able to spend the day with his darling wife tomorrow, but not until after his work was done today.

Nirel looked out over his land in expectation the following day, and of course–nothing was growing yet. Each morning, he rises early in earnest, meditates on the word, and does his daily chores. The sun shines, the rain clouds come, and the threat of frost arises, but Nirel gets up and goes through the same routine daily. On day ten, he goes to the field to check on the corn; still, nothing. On day eleven, nothing other than broken dirt can be found.

On day twelve, Nirel wakes with a spring in his step and greater anticipation in his heart. He knows that corn usually germinates in about two weeks. In the past eleven days, he still can’t see what that seed is doing under the ground, but he knows, without a doubt, that seed is sprouting. It is breaking open its outer casing and gaining strength for its roots to grow. Year after year, Nirel has planted seeds, and year after year, they always sprout. Some years were not as good as others, but he knows that a harvest will always come when he plants a seed. Sometimes, he would need to water the whole season, and other years, hardly at all, but there was never a time when he didn’t thank God for the process and had faith in Him to complete it.

On day fourteen, Nirel and Carmela went to the field, and behold, tiny green shoots broke through the soil’s surface and reached for the sun. With each new day, the shoots grew taller, and the roots grew stronger until the corn was finally ready to harvest. God’s principle of seedtime and harvest had worked again, even after thousands of years when He first established it on the third day of creation in Genesis 1:11.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

Genesis 1:11 (KJV)

Nirel and Carmela also follow this principle in their daily lives. You see, Nirel was taking his time, reading every word aloud each morning and planting the seeds of the Word in the field of his heart. They knew that being diligent and filling their heart with good things made them closer to God and made them able to reflect His kindness every day, no matter what season in life they were in. Sometimes the sun is out, and sometimes it rains, but God’s love is eternal, no matter the circumstances. They started each day anticipating that the seed was sown and doing its excellent work inside, just as God intended. A harvest will always come.

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

Luke 6:45 (KJV)

The Undercover Treasure

The Bible says that the kingdom of God is like a field, and when a man finds it, he will sell all he has and go back and buy the field. God has placed a treasure inside each person, and it is up to them whether they use it for God and His purpose. By reading His word and having a personal relationship with Him, you can develop the treasure within, just like Nirel and Carmela with their field of sweet corn. Though they could not see it, they knew it was working in the ground.

One of the hardest things for believers to realize is that each person has a field where the treasure is stored. A muddy, broken ground, full of filthy behavior that must be dug through. When discovering their gift, each individual believer should draw closer to the life lived by Jesus and examine their own behaviors. Learning what is right in God’s kingdom brings a believer to a place of decision. A believer must first decide if they want to go beyond just being saved and to strive to be the best they can be by having a firm reliance on God’s grace through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

So what should we ask ourselves? Does our behavior line up with what He would do? Does He lie? Does He make excuses? Would He treat that person who cut you off in traffic that way? Would He manipulate a situation just because He could? Would He watch that or read that? Would He only speak to His Father once a week? Would He be spreading gossip around town? We also have to make tough decisions about who we hang around with. If they are doing these types of things, don’t be fooled. Who you associate yourself with strongly determines how you will behave. In the book of Proverbs 13:20 (actually the whole book), there is much wisdom and an excellent place to start asking yourself tough questions. No one’s perfect, yet the righteous, after they fall, will get back up, shake it off, and try again. These three versions of the scripture help to show its meaning:

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)

“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”

Proverbs 13:20 (MSG)

“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

Proverbs 13:20 (NLT)

We must be willing to ask tough questions about ourselves to reach a higher level of intimacy with the Holy Spirit and Jesus. This is not so we can beat ourselves or others up or condemn ourselves. Once we see a bad behavior occur, we will be better equipped to deal with it, learn from it, understand why we did it, forgive ourselves (and others) for it, and move on. Turning away from the behavior is the objective. However, this process may take years and some will need additional therapy to understand the “why” of the behavior. We must also realize that people we meet have buried treasure within, covered by their own fields of rocks and dirt. If we are unwilling to search out our own treasure, how on earth (pardon the pun) are we going to be able to honor someone else’s treasure so that it may be a blessing to them and us, just like a harvest of sweet corn?

When we are willing to truthfully look at ourselves and see the plank in our own eyes, it makes it easier to cultivate our own fields and see the treasure within. Committing to better ourselves means we are also committing to seeing others for their hidden treasures and not their topsoil.

~Angela Errett

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