Gold miners sought wealth in the Klondike at the end of the 19th century. They reached Dawson, in the heart of the Yukon, by three major routes: Chilkoot Pass, White Pass or the Yukon River. Harrowing tales of privation, danger and cold accompanied every route just to reach Dawson, where the effort to find wealth merely began. An effort that all too often, indeed, most of the time, failed. Did any group ever make so many sacrifices for so little return?
The estimate to get all food, equipment and themselves to the Klondike: $30 to $60 million. The total yield of gold in the Klondike in 1898: $10 million. One of ten miners found any gold at all. Time-Life, The Miners, pp. 188-189.
Yet, such was the attraction of gold then; and such is the attraction of wealth now that mortals surrender life itself, and their souls if necessary, to dig in those empty shafts!
While believers in Christ receive daily returns of grace infinitely greater than the cost of discipleship; for “godliness with contentment is great gain” I Timothy 6:6. While believers in Jesus benefit from God’s fathomless depths of spiritual wealth, “his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19. While believers in the Master give money they keep only by supporting kingdom causes, using “worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves” Luke 16:9. While believers in the Savior learn to be content with much or little by seeking in God’s new world pleasures and glories incomparably greater than any labor or cost experienced here, for “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” Romans 8:18, when God Almighty “….in the coming ages”…will “show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:7.
What will we want in the end: an investment very poorly, or not at all, repaid; or an investment whose return is “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us” Ephesians 3:20? The world may promise what we seek. Only God delivers it.