Search This Blog

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I like the odds!

Rich:  Abundantly supplied with resources; of great value or worth.  Every now and again, I run across someone who will share a great desire to win the lottery.  They live with this eternal hope of being "rich" - thinking all their worries in life will somehow melt away when their "ship comes in".  The weekly purchase of those tiny tickets is what keeps them going.  As the jackpot grows, so do their dreams.  In fact, if you listen closely, they "plan" the expenditure of the massive funds as though they might actually win.  If you read the fine print on the lottery site or ticket, the "odds" of winning are something like 1 in 175 million!  Now, if I were to hold out for those kind of odds, I think I would live quite an impoverished life!

God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God.  (Proverbs 10:22 MSG)

There are times in life when we get the idea of "blessing" all confused with what our bank account reflects, or what the type of car or place of our residence says about us.  I could afford a larger house, but why would I need one?  I could afford a more luxurious car, but of what greater value would it be to me in getting me to and from work each morning and evening.  I could afford to purchase my clothing from an upscale store, but would it make me feel any more comfortable than the outfit I purchase at my local discount outlet?  Not likely.  

Blessing is based on relationship, not on the "things" we amass.  In fact, if we want to change our appearance for the better, it is also based not on the clothing we choose to don, but on the relationship we choose to maintain!  There is nothing more important than our relationship with our Creator.  Creation is at its best when it is rightly related to its Creator.  No one and nothing can substitute for this relationship.  Our writer lays it out well - God's blessing makes life rich - there is absolutely nothing we can do which will improve on God.

To improve something implies the first state of the object in question was not of optimal value.  Our psalmist assures us there is no need to "optimize" God.  His blessings are already perfect!  Have you ever really stopped to consider how God makes your life richer?  It might just be an eye-opener for you to actually begin to consider all the ways in which God's abundance is evident around and in you.  Probably one of the "richest" resources God gives is his grace.  Since the beginning of time, mankind has recognized there is no resource quite as "healing" as mercy!

In fact, since the beginning of time, mankind has learned that their own ability to produce the same "effect" as mercy produces is absolutely impossible by any other means!  When Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing, indulging in the "what-if" of experiencing all knowledge, they found themselves miserable.  Their misery was compounded by their inability to "cover over" their guilt and shame.  Nothing else quite produces the same "effect" - no amount of "covering" they could produce was sufficient.  It took God's intervening mercy to restore them.  It was his intervention of mercy which brought the "feeling" they could not produce on their own.

I don't want to suggest our relationship with God is based on "feelings", but I know it is how we "relate" to both God and others.  We are given this blessing of emotions (feelings) because God wants us to experience the animation of life.  We often find ourselves "feeling" some way before we fully recognize that we are about to realize the fullness of that "thing" in our life.  For example, if we are about to come down with a head cold, we might just experience some early "feelings" of a little scratchiness in our throat, or become a little more tired than usually, almost dragging along at a pace we don't usually fall into.  These "early" feelings give us an indication of what is to come, don't they?  The same is true with our other emotions - they often give us an "impression" of what it is we truly need.

If we are feeling "lonely" - we need relationship.  If we are feeling "beat down" - we need renewal.  If we are feeling "unworthy" - we need connection with the one who gives us all worth.  If we are feeling "guilty" - we need grace.  So, the resource we need is often connected to the impression or feeling we begin to experience.  If we truly understand God designed our feelings to reveal something of HIM we need more of in our lives, we might just come into a place of understanding what our writer was saying - nothing else will "do" except God!  Just sayin!