A Parable of True Riches
By Bill Britton
Two men were going through a dark forest one night when they heard a cry for help. They were on a long journey, with only a certain amount of time to complete it, and they were in a hurry. The path they were on was narrow, and rather hard to follow.
They pondered the question as to whether or not they should answer the cry for help. It might be a trap. Or they might get lost in the dark forest. They would lose a lot of time. But they decided that if someone was in need of help, they really should find them. So they plunged into the forest, following the sounds of the cry for help. Deep in the forest they found him.
He was a little old man pinned under a large tree limb that had fallen upon him. One of the wolves of the forest had also heard him, and was almost upon him. But the two men drove the beast away with clubs. They lifted the limb and released him. He was bruised and sore, but there were no broken bones, and in a few minutes he was feeling much better.
He was very grateful, and thanked them profusely. He said: "You men have saved my life, and I want to do something for you that will make you very happy." They laughed at this, and said: "Why old man, what in the world could you do to make us happy? That is very foolish talk. You must be joking." They laughed some more.
This angered him very much. He said: "You should not have laughed at me. I am not joking. You saved my life and I am going to make you very happy. But because you laughed at me, you will also be very sad. Tonight on your journey, you will cross a dry creek bed. Stop and pick up some of the stones from the creek bed, and tomorrow you will be very happy and very sad." They were puzzled by this, and asked him to tell them the answer to the riddle. But he would only say, "When the sun comes up in the morning, look at the stones from the creek, and you will know the answer to the riddle."
As they continued their journey, they talked about the riddle and tried to figure out the answer, but to no avail. Finally, during the night, they crossed the creek. They remembered what the old man had said, and each one picked up a handful of stones from the creek bed and put them in his pocket. They continued on till morning. As the sun was rising, they stopped and sat down to rest for a few minutes. It was then they remembered the riddle, and how they were to look at the stones in the light of the sun, and know the answer to the riddle.
To their amazement and joy, when they examined the stones, they found them to be precious jewels... rubies, diamonds, pearls, and emeralds. With only a handful of these gems, they were richer than they had ever dreamed of being. They each had wealth enough to build a house of their own, and money to live on. They were very happy, and they danced around in joy and glee.
But suddenly they became very sad, for they only had a handful of these precious gems. Had they only known what was so near and available to them during their journey through the dark night, they could have emptied their packs of all their other baggage, and filled their packs with these riches. Had they done this, they would have been a hundred times richer than they were now. The very thought of what they had missed on their journey made them very, very sad.
This is a parable, dear friend, of your life. There is One who has made great riches available to you. But you must "lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset you", in order to get the most from what has been set aside for you. There is much baggage you must unload from your life. But it is worth it.
Jesus said, "Lay not up treasures on earth, but lay up treasures in Heaven." (Matthew 6:19) So there are treasures in Heaven. Colossians 2:3 says that treasures are hidden in Christ. Moses decided even the reproaches of Christ were greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. (Hebrews 11:26) Revelation 7:17 tells us that God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes when we get to Heaven. Tears in Heaven? Why would there be tears in Heaven? Because people will suddenly discover that they have made it to Heaven, but did not lay up the treasures in Heaven that were available to them during their journey here.
Friend, we are on a life long journey through this age of darkness on this planet earth. But nothing here is so precious as that which He has prepared for us. Cast aside all the useless weights that hold us to the pleasures of this carnal earthly life, and apprehend the very treasures of Heaven that will make you rich for all eternity! You will never regret anything you give up here for His sake. Trust Him, He is telling the truth. Call upon Him today, and give Him all of your life!