“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” (Matthew 6:20)
“Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me…” Who can’t relate to those lyrics? Much like young Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, we dream of “somewhere over the rainbow” – with more happiness, less trouble and the impossible coming true. It’s probably why this song, (released the year my dad was born and – fun fact – in the first “full-color” film ever), has endured more than eight decades!
What do your dreams look like? What might that pot of gold hold? Bigger, nicer things? Traveling the world with no budget? A new face or bod to be the best version of you? Maybe it’s less grand than all that, and what you really crave is family… friends… love. Hope is a wonderful thing. We should dream big. However, we’re warned in Matthew 6:19-20 not to lay up treasure on earth “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Deterioration is expected over time, but when possessions (or people) are suddenly gone, that hits differently. Yet crooks haul, fortunes fall, loved ones leave… and God gets blamed. Even though He warned that nothing here lasts forever, including us. The love behind His action to preserve our souls speaks volumes more than a song of dreams. Passionately ponder the point of Christmas. Jesus – God in flesh – left heaven to dwell, in poverty, among men. He had everything. Over the rainbow is His home! Yet he put it aside, to suffer with us, for us, not only to give joy in this life, but to spare us an eternity of hell. The Creator of all heaven and earth desires to dwell with us forever.
The following verse (21) goes on to say, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” That’s a warning against a divided heart because we’ll either be for God or for self. It’s not wrong to want nice things, to have nice things. It’s only wrong when money, possessions or even people become gods in your life (replacing God). These temporary things could be gone tomorrow. We could be gone tomorrow. Side note, speaking of rainbows, did you know Lucifer was created very colorfully? (Ez. 28:13) He was the most beautiful, musical cherubim at the throne of God before being cast out of heaven. No wonder we’re drawn to his beguiling bids, pleasing to the eyes and ears, fueling our own obsessive desires to compete with the Almighty. I’m so over the rainbow of lies because pride, as we know, is a losing battle. In his attempt to be God, Satan corrupts perfection. They say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” but it’s sin, not sincerity, pushing his agenda to steal, kill and destroy.
As for Dorothy, in the end, all she wished for was already hers. She didn’t have real adventures in faraway places, but she did gain wisdom to see with new appreciation the joy in her current place. If your days feel dreary, like a black and white film, understand self-serving will never satisfy (not permanently). Full color bursts on the scene when godly treasures are unwrapped. What are these godly treasurers? Christ, and contentment in Him! This Christmas let’s use what we do have to the glory of the Lord, understanding He is still heaven on earth. We can dream so much brighter than ROYGBIV because of Jesus, who owns the world, including the rainbow. So, lay down your will and lay up treasures in Him. Soon enough, we’ll get to the other side, where money means nothing, and we are perfected. (What a gift!) Until then, singing and dreaming with Jesus along the way, I must agree with Dorothy, there’s no place like home.