“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.” ~~ Psalm 84:10
When I was a child, I loved visiting my Osie, my Daddy’s Mother. She was an artist who painted portraits and still lifes that looked real and people paid her money for her work. We went to see my Nannie often, but Osie didn’t have us over as frequently because she was either working or off on some painting workshop. So being at her home was a special treat. I especially liked being there because she liked to have us over one at a time, and our time was just for the two of us. We would cook together, make art together, and go outside on good days and make chains of flowers to put in our hair like fairy princesses. If I didn’t get to go there often, the quality of the days I had more than made up for the number I had. I always eagerly awaited an invitation to her home, since I knew that my Dad’s treasures were in the attic: Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles were my first introduction to science fiction.
Waiting for the invitation to serve Christ is the blessing in our life of faith. When I think of John Wesley’s life and how he struggled to be good enough to earn God’s favor and blessing through works, only to discover that “faith in Christ” was the only prerequisite, and repentance the only door to the house of God’s blessings that come by faith, then I think of all the Christians I have met who are not living the whole life that God intends for them. They don’t know with assurance that Christ gave his life for their life because they are afraid to truly trust him with the rest of their days.
Only those of us who made such a royal mess of our own lives and really had nothing else to lose could surrender such absolute control to another. If I gave my life to Christ, it was because it was so far gone and I was so helpless to put it back together on my own. I truly needed a “higher power” and Christ is that for me. If we trust the Lord with our lives and we walk in a right relationship with him by honoring him as the “senior” member of our family and following his guidance in all things, then he does open up the blessings of heaven for us in all that we undertake, for we do nothing without his guidance and wisdom.
This isn’t how most of us live, however, for we choose what we want and ask God to bless it. Then we moan that God has forsaken us when our house of cards falls down! It never had a chance, since it wasn’t a God thing to begin with, and we didn’t submit our spending plans to God first. We fail to thrive and merely survive because we want control over the stuff we own, forgetting that all we have and all that we are comes from God. Even the “self-made man” was made in the image of God! To fully appreciate the blessing of God, and enjoy our time in his house, we have to abandon our need to own our stuff and praise the God who gives us stewardship over it for the short time we have it. Then we can use it for a higher purpose than just for our own good, and use it for the good of God’s people and his kingdom. Then our blessings and our possessions will never end, and we will bless others as we have been blessed ourselves.