The market changed. What had been college funds for the kids was gone. When he was introduced to the “high risk, high return” fund years earlier, what he heard was just the “high return” piece. On the highly focused quest for financial security, one step was to secure funds for the kids’ advanced education. That step was behind him, he thought. Then the “risk” piece hit. The fund collapsed.
Life is like that. Folks hear what they want to hear until real life happens and the volume gets turned up on what they may not have wanted to hear. Young couples getting married hear “…for better, …richer, …and in health.” The vows typically vocalized are, “…for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” In my youth, it was easy to hear what I wanted to hear because I thought I had all the answers. Then life said, “You do not even know all the questions yet!”
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21. In this passage, Jesus takes us from the head-level knowledge of doing what we can do to get by, to the heart-level understanding of what has eternal value. The reference was to a personal, passionate relationship with Him that would be lived day to day in marriage, family and loving others. Later, Paul says, “…rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, Who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5. All life experiences are blessings per the word of God. To think otherwise denies His sovereignty. Paul was a real life example of one man that embraced the joy of life in relationship with Jesus the Christ through the highs and the worldly lows of his ministry. Paul invested well with an eternal perspective in this world.
The kids got a college education through their good work ethic, scholarships and some family support. And the dad got an advanced education on Who provides. The fund collapse was the first in a series of ‘classes’ the Lord led him through to move head-level knowledge to heart-level understanding of His sovereignty, His love and His plan for being a light in this world through a personal, passionate relationship with Him. The charge was to invest well in relationships - in marriage, family and beyond with an eternal perspective.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and Your patience with me. I thought I was glorifying You by taking care of my family financially but indeed I was just storing up treasures on earth, glorifying myself. Forgive me. Thank You for the life lessons that continue to mold and shape me by Your grace. Help me invest well in relationships with an eternal perspective in this world, to step up as a faithful father and PASS the BATON of faith and family to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father invests well in relationships with an eternal perspective.