Facing the Foxes
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44
I recently told a friend that when I think of Matthew 13:44 I picture a little dude running down the road doing one of those jump, heel-click things because he’s so excited. And there’s a sunset, of course, because a sunset seems like the most fitting background for something like that.
And that’s how I want to live. I want to be so in love with Jesus and hold so loosely to the things of this world that I would lay them all down in an instant. I want to seek Him and in my joy give absolutely everything to gain His kingdom.
And lots of days that is, in fact, an applicable description of my life. There are mornings I wake up so full of a longing for God I could burst. Some days I am so overwhelmed by His joy and peace and love that, even when my life is a miserable mess, I can’t help but praise Him.
And then, inevitably, there’s times when that’s not even remotely true.
I get distracted. I get lazy. I get complacent or apathetic. A small sin goes unchecked and my heart’s focus is back on me and what I want and where I’m going and how I’m feeling. I usually don’t even notice the process taking place until it’s too late.
A tiny seed of bitterness was the most recent culprit for me. My feelings were hurt, I chose to talk about it with a friend instead of the individual, the seed of resentment grew, and, ultimately, my relationship with God suffered as I self-righteously harbored my animosity.
Solomon describes them as little foxes – the little things that creep into the vineyard and destroy the crop. His context is a romantic relationship, but the same easily applies to our relationship with our ultimate Bridegroom. And it’s when the vineyards are in bloom – when they are doing well – that the little foxes creep in and start gnawing away. Not many foxes would choose to feast in a vineyard that is barren and unproductive, after all.
So how do you safeguard your relationship with Jesus? How do you protect it from the little foxes that will, without a doubt, try to sneak in and destroy the fruit you would otherwise produce?
It’s worth fighting for. Your relationship with Jesus is worth facing the foxes and rooting them out. If the treasure hidden in a field is valuable enough to sell everything you have to obtain, it’s certainly worth your unending attention and care.