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July 29, 2010

The digital clock on my bedroom dresser was quietly signaling that bedtime was long past.  Phooey on sleep, I thought as I reached out with the tips of my fingers and pushed the face of the clock towards the wall.  I had been completely captivated by my latest literary adventure, “Daddy-Long-Legs.”

Another page and I was once again lost in young Judy’s adventures.  Ah how happy for her to be away from the confines of the orphanage, to have beautiful things, and to be free from the stigma of being a poor unwanted orphan. At last she had begun to experience life and to see how real families lived.

In the dark hours of the night, I put the book on my nightstand and switched off the light.  I fell asleep with a picture of her benefactor rolling around in my head and an excerpt from one of Judy’s letters to him. 

“I know lots of girls (Julia, for instance) who never know that they are happy.  They are so accustomed to the feeling that their senses are deadened to it, but as for me—I am perfectly sure every moment of my life that I am happy.”

While driving to church the next morning, a thought came to me.  Do I realize how happy I am as a Christian?

Oh I do all of the right things.  Along with all of the other well established Christians, I practice good church decorum.  We ladies sit with one leg neatly folded over the other and an open Bible in our laps.  The men sit up straight and fix their eyes on the pastor.  Occasionally we’ll throw a nod the pastor’s way, when he’s made a good point of course, just to let him know we’re still with him. 

I glance over at a friend who accepted Christ as an adult, and she is scribbling notes frantically into her open notebook.  She struggles a little to find the next passage of Scripture (she didn’t grow up on Sword drills).   She catches my eye and smiles broadly as if to say, Isn’t this wonderful.  I’m so happy to be hearing this for the first time.

We older Christians talk about being filled with joy and seeing how God has worked in our lives, but do we really truly feel it?  I’m not sure.  I think many of us have started to take this wonderful life we’ve been given for granted.  After God has blessed us and blessed us and blessed us, we start to expect it like greedy, ungrateful children.  We forget to be thankful and to enjoy, really enjoy the peace and happiness that are ours to claim. 

When was the last time you wept with gratitude for what God has given you?  Have you ever?  Not long ago I sat across from a friend as she described to me the relief she felt when she accepted Christ as her Savior and God changed her life.  I felt my eyes tearing up as I silently remembered to thank God for ALL He has done in my life.

 Praise the Lord!  Great things He hath done!

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