This morning I sat in my Costa Rican rocking chair on my front patio with my Bible open on my lap and a coffee cup in my hand. I looked up into the cloudless, brilliant blue sky then down into my rainy-season green yard. Deep contentment swelled in my heart even as a distant car alarm broke the background of Sunday morning silence. I thanked God for all He has done for me and for giving me this life I love. I thought of our friends here in Costa Rica. I once again thanked God for putting them in our life and giving them a faithful love for us. It is a rich blessing to feel God’s love shining on you through another person.
Then my eyes drifted to the rescued Ficus tree in the center of my yard. Salvaged from an infancy of neglect, he’s looking like a healthy, happy child a growing strong in a circle of sunshine. I am happy that such a sad little tree could be revived. A scripture verse floated into my consciousness. “…He is like a tree planted by streams of water…” I know that verse by heart, Psalm 1, yet I reach for my Bible to hear what the Lord is whispering to me.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
The Lord spoke encouragement to my heart and told me that I am like the tree planted by streams of water. I delight myself in the Lord. I keep my thoughts on Him day and night- casting my burdens of worry and care on His ample shoulders. I am free to grow tall. In the right season, I will produce fruit. I won’t grow weary and dry. Whatever I do, the Lord will prosper because I am rooted in Him. I push my thirsty roots deeper into His Word, sucking up the life I find in Him. And I exhale deep, cleansing contentment. I am at peace in the circle of His Sonlight.
Do you ever look at the lives of the rich and famous and think, “they have Rich Peoples’ problems.” When you look at all the miseries that they experience, it makes your life look really nice. The Apostle Paul wrote this to his young apprentice Pastor Timothy:
“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptations, traps and many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. They deeply regret their decisions later.
“But you, man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness… Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life!” (1 Timothy 6:6-11 and 6:17-19)
You probably heard the saying, “There’s no U-Haul behind the hearse.” You brought nothing into this world, you can take nothing with you when you leave.
Money really is an uncertain foundation in this day and age. Look at those who have piled it up in this life. They die and leave it all behind too. The guy buried in this golden mausoleum is no better off than the poor man who is buried in a simple wooden box. And think of all the starving children that could have been feed with the money this guy spent on his funeral! You can’t take anything with you when you die. Might as well be generous in this life and find true happiness in giving.