Years ago Ann and I were working for Youth for Christ. At the time we were raising our financial support and it was not going so well, behind in pay, and struggling. We were convinced that God would care for us. For several weeks, we received a cashiers check in our mail book for $500.00. We had no idea who it was from. We just thanked God for that person and asked God to continue to bless their life.
A few weeks ago we were on a Mission Discovery trip in Port au Prince, Haiti running a medical clinic. About 1 in the afternoon, several of our helpers brought in 35 plus hamburgers and French fries! I did not know these existed here! It was later that I found out after some digging that it was my Haitian pastor friend Exante, who purchased and delivered the burgers in what appeared to be a “drive-by” burger drop! Later in the week he delivered burgers again, and whoever purchased the burgers accidentally included 6 beers in the mix of soft drinks. Our Episcopalians were thrilled!
A friend of mine did something sneaky. He noticed that one of his neighbor’s cars was filthy. I mean dirt-caked-on-can’t-tell-the-color-dirty! He watched his neighbor for several days, noting when he left for work and when he would return. One afternoon after his neighbor returned from work, my friend took a bucket of warm water, and linked two garden hoses and washed the car.
The next morning my friend was up early to watch his neighbor head to his car. The neighbor came our of his house, and walked right past his car. He looked for a full minute up and down the street, even passing his car by, before realizing that one of the cars he had been passing was his! All clean and shiny!
My friend was loving it. He never said a word to his neighbor about what he did.
In the Matthew chapter 6, Jesus is addressing a crowd about three things: prayer, fasting, and giving money. He challenges his listeners to not do these three things in public to be noticed by others. He follows with these words: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.”
It appears that something happens in Heaven, when things are done here in secret. It’s no secret that each Christmas Eve Ann and I visit a Waffle House and leave a $100.00 tip wrapped in a $1.00 bill. After giving the tip, we leave quickly.
Several of our friends know we do this and have now been picking a random Waffle House and do the same. I fully expect that some day all of us will accidentally land at the same Nashville Waffle House and be shocked to see each other, but fully aware of what is about to occur! (That actually may be a fun thing to do) While many of our friends know we do this, it is however still a secret to the person who will receive the tip, and we never allow them to know who we are. It is a blast. We think even this level of “simi-secrecy” has some sort of Heavenly equity!
I often do a “treasure check.” Here’s what I mean; Jesus concludes His words on “treasures” with “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.” So it seems that a simple test of where I’m storing my treasure is to ask myself what I’m thinking about. When my thoughts are dwelling on anything other than God or people, I want to pause and consider whether I may be moving in a direction that would give a thief the ability to wreck my life and ask God to show me Himself and the needs of others.