I began a terrifying and exhilarating search for Truth as a young Jewish college student.
Although I had many worldly treasures, I was hungry, hurting, and empty. I questioned, studied, and pleaded with Someone I wasn’t even sure existed: God, if You are real show me, and give me the faith to believe.
Nine months later, I found what I had been searching for—a beautiful treasure of inestimable value. Perhaps it is more accurate to say the Treasure found me!
My personal encounter with Jesus and His Kingdom posed the most urgent and difficult question I’ve ever faced, and left me with a life-altering decision. Was He worth it? Was I willing to “sell” everything, especially what was most valuable to me—family, reputation, future goals and dreams—to gain this pearl of great price, this hidden treasure which few find and many seem to discard?
Today as I reflect on Jesus’ use of these parables to describe the value of His kingdom and the cost of true discipleship, I am reminded of my joyful and complete response to His invitation to leave everything and follow Him so many years ago.
Yes, He is worth it! Through every trial and sacrifice, despite my fears and failings, I can confidently say alongside Saint Paul that "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:8).
I now understand with the wisdom that only time and experience can bring, that my yes to Him is not a one-time exchange, but an ongoing, deepening surrender of every part of me.
As the seasons of my life change, I hear a growing urgency in this call to discipleship and I am challenged daily to re-orient my priorities and keep Jesus the Treasure, at the center of my life.
As we strive to lay hold of and cherish this beautiful Treasure, may we be encouraged and comforted by the words of Pope Benedict: “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to Him, we receive a hundredfold in return.” (source)
Which vocational path is God calling you on? If you're discerning that, consider this sweet prayer.
Debra Herbeck, a Jewish convert to the Church, has worked extensively in youth and women’s ministry. She has directed Pine Hills Girls Camp for the past 32 years, is the founder and Director of the Be Love Revolution, and also helps lead a ministry called i.d.916. She has written a number of books that can be found here. Debra and her husband Peter live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and are the parents of four children and five adorable grandchildren.