THIS IS OUR TREASURE
Beirut, Lebanon, was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was known as the Paris of the Middle East. All that changed during the Lebanese civil war of the 1970s. Beirut was devastated. Citizens fled the city as fast as they could.
Author Ravi Zacharias tells the story of Sami, a Lebanese Christian who, with his family, chose to stay behind.
One day when Sami and his wife were driving along a major highway, they spotted a suitcase lying on the shoulder. Sami got out to investigate. “Don’t go near it!” his wife pleaded, traumatized by the number of roadside bombs that had been planted in the area.
Sami carefully ran his hands all around the suitcase. Then he lifted it.“I think there’s something in it!” he said. If that was intended to reassure his wife, it didn’t work. To her utter horror, Sami put the suitcase into their car and drove it home.
After failing to find any identifying marks, he finally decided to open it. It was filled to the rim with money.
There was also a business card inside. Sami dialed the number. A male voice answered. Sami said, “Sir, have you lost something?” There was a long pause before the man responded. “Have you found it?”
Sami described the suitcase and its contents. The man was overjoyed. His family had liquidated all their assets. They had been rushing to the airport when, in the chaos, the suitcase had somehow become lost. Now the man insisted that Sami come to his house so his family could meet, as he put it, the last honest man in Beirut.
Sami made the trip and returned the money. The head of the household was almost speechless. “This is our treasure,” he said. This was his family’s ultimate security.“If I may,” said Sami, “let me show you my treasure. In fact, I want you to have this.” He placed into their hands a copy of the Bible – the very first Bible they had ever owned – setting them on a path to discover a whole new security.
Your security is whatever you think, you hope, and you assume will take care of you, no matter what. Does that happen to be your job? Your education? Your 401(k)? Your network of friends?
The sobering reality is that all of those securities will one day let you down. Not one of them can carry you beyond death. One way or another, they will all slip through your fingers. But if we entrust ourselves to the God who holds us securely, we can never slip through his fingers.
Not in this world nor the next.