Treasure in Heaven

by DanWolgemuth on July 14, 2006

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21, ESV

We were on our way to New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Few times in my flying experience have I been in a more turbulent environment. These were not quaint little bumps and rolls, they were mid-air potholes that left passengers gasping.

I had a headset on with channel 9 selected. This enabled me to listen to the air traffic controller and the dialog with a variety of airplanes that he was tasked with bringing into the airport. I listened carefully to every instruction for United flight 640.

On final approach, the air traffic controller instructed our flight crew to abandon our landing attempt and divert immediately to Kennedy International Airport… roughly twenty minutes away.

The chatter from Kennedy Airport was even more intense as a number of diverted aircraft raced to outrun the tremendous mid-summer thunderstorm. Again, on final approach, I heard the dialog between pilots and the control tower. Within a few minutes of the runway, a flight in front of ours reported wind shear, one of the most dangerous phenomenon that pilots face. The pilot noted that he encountered the condition at 650 feet and didn?t recover control until 300 feet.

The tower repeated the message…United 640, wind shear was reported at 650 feet…Our pilot confirmed, but continued. Instantly our plane was introduced to new levels of turbulence and the anxiety in the cabin was unmistakable. Mary sat beside me, eyes closed, feigning sleep, but practicing prayer. I listened and waited.

At the pinnacle of one of the most frightening flights of my life, I felt a peace that was as unmistakable as the thrashing. Once the wheels were rolling on pavement, and the passengers had exploded in spontaneous applause, Mary looked at me and said, “Wow, you were really calm.” And she was right.

In those moments of uncertainty, even while listening to the details surrounding the treachery; I knew, really knew, that my treasure was something that moth, rust, thieves… wind shear, thunderstorms and devastation couldn’t destroy. In that moment I knew a peace that indeed passed understanding.

Jesus knew on that mountainside in Galilee what we would face. He knew what we would anchor our hopes in. What would distract us from His hope… so He gave us a plan. Invest in eternity and the turbulence won’t matter.

…and now I understand.

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