Don’t keep hoarding for yourselves earthly treasures that can be stolen by thieves. Material wealth eventually rusts, decays, and loses its value. Instead, stockpile heavenly treasures for yourselves that cannot be stolen and will never rust, decay, or lose their value. For your heart will always pursue what you esteem as your treasure.Matthew 6:19-21 TPT
I’m really good at storing up earthly treasures.
The verses above from Matthew 6 are almost always considered to be about riches and power. But material is defined by Google as “physical objects rather than the mind or spirit”
The material earthly treasure I’ve been coveting is definitely physical.
It’s my health.
At least it has been for the past four years.
In July of 2017, I got really, really sick. I had this incredible migraine that literally knocked me off my feet.
After weeks in the hospital, I finally started to get a little bit better. Well, my fever went away.
I was recovering from meningitis.
Only the meningitis went away, but the migraine didn’t.
My neurologist at the time said there wasn’t a lot doctors knew about migraines. That they were a mystery .
As It turns out, while he didn’t personally know a lot about migraines, the medical community as a whole, does. A couple years ago I attended a two-hour class that was solely about migraines, so if you have any questions, I’m now what they call a “Migrainour”
Not only have I heard of all the causes, triggers, treatments, and tricks, I tried 99% of them.
Migraine became a regular part of my life.
In fact, over the last 4 years, I only had one migraine free day… So one day out of one thousand four hundred and forty-two (ish). That is until last Tuesday.
My Personal Miracle
To make a long story short, when I was in the hospital with meningitis, they did a lumbar puncture. That tiny hole they poked in my spinal cord should have healed itself. But it didn’t.
The doctor should have caught that, but he didn’t.
Earlier this month, I met with a new doctor. A neurologist who specializes in migraines related to the spinal cord. She confirmed that what I have been experiencing was a low CSF pressure migraine. …and that there was a simple fix.
Within a week, I had a procedure that fixed the hole in my spinal column and I’ve started to heal.
What it Means to Be Pain Free
Healing will be a process. My head has hurt so bad for so long, I’m not even sure what it means to be pain free.
Overwhelming would be a good word for it.
But here’s another word: disappointing.
I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself here, but this is where I am.
For so long, I’ve said, “If only my head didn’t hurt…”
If only my head didn’t hurt…
- I could be a better mom.
- My house would be cleaner
- I would get more work done.
- I could be the person I want to be.
And I realized, that this is just one in a series of “if only’s” or “When blank happens, then I’ll be able tos…
- When we move into a smaller house, it will be easier for me to keep clean.
- When the kids are in school, I’ll have more time to exercise.
- When my husband gets off the night shift, I won’t be so stressed out.
There’s a meme that goes around Facebook every now and then. It has a little back and forth between some people.
Have you ever been there?
I don’t know about you, but the whens, if onlys, and Mondays never go the way I expect them to.
I mean, they might for a bit, but eventually, I settle back into my habits. Into my routines.
That defining moment, the change I’m looking for, never seems to pan out.
Earthly Treasure Comes In All Shapes & Sizes
When I read Matthew 6:19 earlier this weekend, I realised that my if onlys and whens are really earthly treasures I’ve been seeking.
They are idols I’ve been chasing.
Being migraine free isn’t the secret to success. It’s not my ticket to happiness.
True joy can only be found in Jesus. And deep down, I know that.
The sad truth is, my head still hurts. While they plugged the hole in my spine, healing takes time. My body has to adjust to the change. I have to build up the strength to do the things I want to do.
I remember one day a few months ago, I was attending church online. My head hurt, so while the rest of my family went, I stayed home. I was watching via Facebook live – one of the few good things that came from Covid.
Anyways, so we were in the worship portion of the service. I was singing along with the congregation when suddenly I stopped. They were singing “King of My Heart,” but I found I couldn’t sing along.
If you’re not familiar with the song, there is a point where they go into a refrain that says, “You’re never gonna let me down.” – and at that moment, it hit me that I did feel let down, and I didn’t know what to do with that.
As I was sorting through my feelings, our pastor got up and said exactly what was on my heart. “Sometimes I do feel let down by God. When bad things happen. Things I don’t understand. I’m tempted to ask why.” I don’t remember everything he said that morning, but I felt it in the depths of my soul.
I don’t doubt God often. Faith is one of my spiritual gifts. But I’ve learned recently that just because we don’t acknowledge something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
I had to take the time to acknowledge what I was feeling before God could heal my heart.
I felt let down, because my head hurt. That pain was consuming my thoughts, and had literally become an idol. Being pain free was my earthly treasure. The treasure my heart was longing for.
It wasn’t that I stopped being a Christian. I didn’t stop loving Jesus. But I had stopped pursuing more of Him. I wasn’t longing for a deeper relationship with Him, I was longing to be pain free.
To quote Matthew 6, “My heart was pursuing what I esteemed as my treasure… and that treasure wasn’t Jesus. That’s why I felt let down.
And I felt that way again this weekend. I had the procedure. I should be pain free, but I’m not.
The doctor told me it was the first step in my healing process. But I heard healing and ran with it. I’m so ready to be migraine free.
But as wonderful as that sounds, to live without pain, I can’t imagine living without Jesus.
Give Me Jesus
Jesus is what has gotten me through the past four years.
My relationship with Him.
I needed to get back to that. Back to pursuing Jesus with all that is in me.
I want to ask you today, what is your heart pursuing? What’s your “if only” or “when”
When you leave this sanctuary, when you leave this place, what will you be pursuing?
If the answer is anything other than Jesus, I’m afraid you’ll find yourself disappointed just like I was.
But if you walk away from today with a heart that wants more of Jesus, He will never let you down.
I don’t want to give you homework, but I would encourage you to read Psalm 46 this evening, or the next time you find yourself thinking, “if only.” The next time you find yourself saying, “When”
Because if only our hearts would long for Jesus, when we seek Him first, then everything else comes into perspective.