Friday, August 17, 2012

That Extra in the Ordinary!

"The house of the righteous contains great treasure..." (Proverbs 15:6 NIV).

I suppose according to the era in which we live and our age, the word "treasure" conjures up many images. Personally, at my age, waking up in the morning with good health is such a treasure that my first words are, "Thank You, Father, for all the incredible blessings You bestow every minute of every hour of every day."

A few years ago I started reading the Living Bible and I have found numerous treasures there, one being: "If you have good eyesight and good hearing, thank God who gave them to you" (Proverbs 20:12 TLB). I used to work in a high-rise for senior citizens and their two big worries were eyesight and hearing, so these gifts alone are two good reasons to get up and about every day.

I'm convinced that one of our major problems today is lack of gratitude, which is mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:2 as one of the signs of the last days: "But mark this: People will be ... ungrateful." When one is ungrateful, one also expects great things of others. I found myself doing that over the years. I expected my husband to do his part and our sons to love me and the world to generally do what was right or, at least, what I thought was right. After all, I did my part and I was righteous.

Then a day of "grief and desperate sorrow" (Isaiah 17:11 KJV) came and suddenly I discovered that an ordinary day is extraordinary simply because it is there. The true treasure-house is filled with friends, kind words, laughter, sunrise and sunset, a child's hug, a pile of branches that hides a birds' nest ... I found myself saying and writing "Wow!" to these unearthly gifts that I took for granted for so many years. As one author so eloquently noted, "Everything that brings relief from the ordinary pressure of daily life and revives the drooping spirits may be so regarded as 'green pastures and still waters'." We dwell in green pastures most of our days.  

I also discovered that gratitude made my family a lot happier, too. Finally I had learned to quit adding to the debit side of life and to make the entries on the credit side. It's known as going from "contentious" to "content"; lopping off the i-o-u-s from contentious that I thought others owed me to finally become enormously content with this beautiful life God has granted.

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