When I was a 7 year-old girl, I really, really wanted a bike. The children in our neighborhood rode their bikes on the sidewalks, and had such fun. I knew I was missing out not being able to do the same! So, for Christmas I asked, begged and prayed for a bike. What a special surprise to find my longing fulfilled on Christmas Eve! It was a purple/pink Schwinn with a bell and streamers. I could hardly wait to join my friends, once the Michigan snow cleared.
Finally spring came, but there was just one problem – I hadn’t learned to ride a two-wheel bike yet! My dad came to the rescue, doing what dad’s do best – holding onto my wobbly bike’s seat and running along side, yelling out instructions –
Keep your eyes in front – not on me.
Keep your body in the center of the bike.
It was much harder than I imagined it would be! The afternoon when my bike met the tree trunk, and my lip the met the dirt, I was sure this bike wasn’t such a great idea! Who thought of trying to stay upright on two wheels, anyway?! From that day on, when my dad would try to get me out to try to learn to ride, I’d run! That bike wasn’t a special gift; it was a curse!
Yesterday’s post showed us how Joseph’s brother’s assumed God was cursing them when they found the money for the food they’d gotten in Egypt was still in their sacks. They assumed they would be severely punished for this. When they told Joseph’s servant, he answered that God had given them treasure in their sacks. It was a gift of kindness, put into Joseph’s heart by their God! If only they could have seen the gift for what it was they wouldn’t have had to take that Pepto Bismol for their upset stomachs (okay, the Scripture doesn’t say that, but you know their stomach’s were churning in fear!).
What a difference a biblical perspective gives us! Joseph’s brothers jumped to the same conclusions we do! Consider how we respond in these kind of situations:
- Those children for whom we prayed, begin a pattern of poor behavior and defiance, and suddenly the gift of motherhood has become a curse!
- We moved into the house of our dreams. It was roomy and big enough for our family AND for guests. But we look at all the that hardwood and see so many floors to mop, and suddenly that gift of a house is a curse!
- We prayed to be married, and he was the man of our dreams at the altar. But over time we see his sinfulness and are disappointed. He’s no longer a treasure; now he’s a curse!
- We watched God give the perfect job and we were grateful. But when we meet up with a difficult fellow-employee or two, that job becomes a curse!
- To have a computer at home to work with eases so much – we can pay bills, shop or connect with friends, but on the day there is no Internet service that thing turns into a curse!
- When we found our church we were thankful for its teaching, it’s congregation and it ministries, but when we see that not everything is done the way we think it should be done, those blessings are now a curse!
- …You add whatever difficulty has touched your life recently.
All along, those things were all “treasures in our sacks,” only we didn’t have eyes to see it! Instead we’re staring down in the deep well of the bag and we become consumed with our own self-focused thoughts instead of what God could do in that darkness.
If something seems to be a drudgery, a source of sighing and heaviness, or not what you wanted, take that need to the Giver of that blessing. Ask Him to allow you to see with new eyes the joy of this gift, and what He can do in the midst of this time. A right perspective on the “hard things” in life can help us see that God is not against us, as a matter of fact, He just might be up to something really, really good!
When you have eyes of faith to look for the treasure, you’ll have peace while you wait. You’ll have hope in your heart. You’ll realize that that “thing,” whatever it is, truly is a TREASURE in your sack!