Friday, August 22, 2014

Heaven's Pennies

I’ve got a coin purse on my wallet that doesn’t like to stay closed these days. Loose change slips out thru the zipper closure and rides the bottom of my purse. It becomes buried treasure on Friday afternoons at work when the vending machine calls.
Some days that’s the only quarter I can find for a shopping cart at the local grocery. Sundays I dump it into a coin cup at home. (I bet you thought I was going to say church offering plate.) It makes a good emergency fund for grocery items. Monday starts the coin gathering all over again.
I have been reading through Job with a friend of mine and we have met the youngest of Job’s friends, Elihu.  After we waded through his grand introduction of himself, the advice he gives Job seems to cut through the mire of all the suffering Job has been experiencing.
29 “Behold, God does all these things,
    twice, three times, with a man,
30 to bring back his soul from the pit,
    that he may be lighted with the light of life.  
 Job 33:29-30 (ESV)
Could it be that suffering can be a good thing? Like scratched pennies from heaven, can misery have some value?
When I look back through difficult times in my life and tally the columns of sickness, grief, depression, loss…I have to ask, was it all for nothing? Or was there value even there?
You see, the World hands us coins of sorrow now and then. Some days we just feel like tossing it back on the ground for someone else to pick up. We see no value in it. We reject it and wonder why it weighs heavy on our spirit.
What I want you to see is, that coin has two sides to it. And one actually says, “In God we trust”. When we receive that pain and acknowledge our trust in Him in all circumstances, He takes that thing the enemy meant to harm and disarm us with and refines us.
These days my coins are heavy on my shoulder and it’s time to turn them in to something lighter. And I know just how to do that. In God’s economy I have riches beyond what I can imagine stored up. I just have to thank Him for it.
So what will it be for you? Why not flip a coin? Heads you win.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (ESV)