When I Am a Rich Man
Wishing all Daily Encounter readers a very Happy and God-blessed New Year!
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."1
"A legend tells the story of a fisherman called Aaron. Aaron lived on the banks of a river. Walking home with his eyes half-closed one evening after a hard day's work, he was dreaming of what he could do if he were rich. As he walked his foot struck against a leather pouch filled with what seemed to him to be small stones.
"Absentmindedly he picked up the pouch and began throwing the pebbles into the water.'When I am a rich man,' he said to himself, 'I'll have a large house.' And he threw another pebble into the river. He threw another one and thought, 'My wife and I will have servants and rich food, and many fine things.' And this went on until just one stone was left. As Aaron held it in his hand, a ray of light caught it and made it sparkle. He then realized that it was a valuable gem. He had been throwing away the real riches in his hand, while he dreamed of unreal riches in the future."2
As we start a fresh New Year, let us remember all the riches we have in Christ Jesus, and all the blessings from God that we do have, and not overlook these because of all the things we don't haveómany of which for many of us we don't even need in order to live a contented and happy life.
As Charles Dickens once said, "Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
Contentment and happiness come from within and not from circumstances without. They come from changing the things we can and need to change, from accepting and learning to live with the things we cannot changeóand having the wisdom to know the difference. They come from the attitude of one's heart and mind, and learning to trust God in every situation.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for all the blessings that I have in Christ Jesus, and for all the blessings I receive from you every day. Open the eyes of my understanding so that I can see these, thank you for them, and rejoice always in them. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
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1. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV).
2. Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, "The Man Without Wedding Clothes." http://www.spirit-net.ca/sermon.html.