Wealth . . . Gratitude . . . It Ain’t So Bad

“Be anxious for nothing…give thanks… Philipians 4:4-8”

Today I told God that the one prayer he hasn’t answered concerns wealth: We still have very little money, just enough to get by day to day but in the hole (because of school loans and car repairs and medical bills) even though my husband and I are highly educated. But then the Lord graciously told me that I am wrong. In fact, I am basking in wealth.

He said, “the earth is yours, I have given it to you for your enjoyment.” He knows the deep pleasure I have in stepping outside, curiously observing the activities of his creatures around me–how my soul bursts with delight at the sight of rocks and trees and skies and seas–the wonders his hand has wrought. How I imagine the creatures and sights I’ve only read about when I am trying to fall asleep at night. He knows about my fierce desire to drink in the beauty of places I’ve only heard of. He knows about my fascination with trees and water. He has given me the beauty of the earth.

He said, “you are wealthy beyond measure in your relationships.” I am married to my soulmate, to one who understands me like none other, like none other ever will. I didn’t deserve him. No. Shawn is more than I could ever ask for or imagine (Eph. 3:18-20). God graciously gifted me with my husband. I thank the Lord for him every day. Not everyone has such a relationship.

I have four friends (aside from Shawn) that I can bare my soul to, six if I include my brother and sister. It is a measure of wealth to have one such friend.

He said, “I allowed you to attend a wonderful seminary and gain friends for life.” I thank him regularly for Northeastern Seminary. Since childhoold I had dreamed of getting an M. Div.

He said, “I gave you a lifelong family at Rochester Christian Reformed Church including the youth group and pastors such as Russ Palsrok and Carl Tuyl.” I have a place to call home. I know that they love me and my family. I can be myself. There I am known and appreciated.

He said, “I gave you Iliana–a beautiful healthy child. You will learn of my love for you as you love her. Children are a blessing from me.” She was a seedling of our love born into a human being. And I am grateful that she has the best daddy in the world (she is truly fortunate). She delights us all the day.

He said, “I gave you my word. I gave you books. They instruct you and teach you. What knowledge, what joy you receive from your many books.” I said, “this is true.”

He said, “I saved you from yourself, from the mess you made of your 16th-20th year.” I said, “Blessed be your name O, Lord. You have rescued me from the pit, from the pit of hell.”

He said, “I gave you your parents and your dear abuela.” Abuela was my dear treasure. I still mourn her death. But oh what joy, what comfort I gained from her. Not everyone has an abuela.

He said, “In 7th grade you mentioned in passing that you wanted to go to the Holy Land and to Asia. It wasn’t even a prayer. I took note of your fleeting thought and turned it into reality four years later. You were in India and Israel.”

He said, “I made Real-Radio reality. You couldn’t have done it yourself.” I said, “I know. There’s nothing much I can do myself.”

So I realized that I am wealthy beyond measure. I mean it. Now having little money seems like a drop in the ocean compared to everything else I do have. I’ll have to recall this conversation to mind when I am tempted to bemoan our lack of money. The conversation itself enriched me even further.

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