Surface beauty fades quickly. That which is easily gained is usually the least rewarding. Buried treasure is treasure indeed, but one must dig in the dirt to get to it. Even then, quite often it is not always recognized for the treasure it is, because it is covered with a layer of dirt, and passed over because the treasure hunter is too busy looking for something shiny or sparkly. How often in life do we spend our time moaning about our lack and not realizing that within our grasp is great abundance if only we would dig for it and disregard how dirty we are getting in the process.
This summer has reminded me that beneath the toil and sometimes tears, treasure is in my midst. Life doesn't have to be perfect in order for perfection to be found. I was given the gift of 2 more grand babies born this spring and summer and the announcement of one on the way; "Perfection!" The ultimate treasure was found this year in having the chance to hold those babies in my arms, and smell their sweet scent and laugh as they smiled; to get to spend time with my daughter -in- law, Himilce, and my son, Nathan, to play with my grandson, Elon; To visit my daughter Marie and son in law Jon; and my daughter Elizabeth, who is expecting her first; "Perfection"! Steve and I were able to fly to Oregon to be with our son Luke (more than we have in years), and to see the work the Lord is doing in His life; we were able rejoice in our son-in-law Benjamin as he finished Navy boot camp! "Perfection!" I was able to start my son Eddie in homeschool, rejoice in my daughter Olga's soccer success and to cheer on my son Russell as he enlisted in the Navy; "Perfection!". Because of a variety of dear friends, who helped and blessed us, we made it through some difficult days,; we have received words of love and encouragement from our parents and gifts and prayers from our friends, and most of all many answers to those prayers; "Perfection!" In the process of a difficult two months working out some difficult situations in our family and another month just trying to catch our breath and recover, the Lord still blessed us with treasure.
Some people get caught up in the toil and feel obligated to it as if the toil itself were the goal. They forget to stop and look and see what they have reaped. But the purpose of the toil is to reap a harvest from it. From the toil we reap a harvest of blessing in our spirit, helping us to become strong, to become over-comers, and to recognize and appreciate even the most ordinary of things as a blessing.
I felt the ordinary rise up as a blessing the other day when I was running my kids around to soccer practices and various activities; I often feel the weariness of this task and others like them
rise up inside me and cause me to think of the time when I don't have to do so much running and can do what I would rather be doing; but, suddenly it hit me what an easy job it was to run kids around town, or to cook, or plan school lessons. How truly delightful it was especially compared with so many other jobs out there. My children are growing in wisdom and in stature. How wonderful to be able to help them. It isn't burdensome. What is burdensome is the weary attitude I have let rest upon me. What is burdensome is being pushed by the expectations of others. Every day has its ordinary miracles and its hidden treasure, all we need to do is to stop, dig a little and look; and the burdens will fall off!
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I Thess. 5:16