Psalm 68:19 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”
Mary Guthrie Essame of East Sussex England worked as a nurse for most of her adult life. Her neighbors and others who knew her described her as a very charming woman, who lived alone but was always very friendly and generous. She left all of her more than 7,000,000 British Pounds to various charities when she passed away, including the Save the Children Fund, Church Army, Christian Aid, Help the Aged, War on Want and the RSPCA.
Mary Guthrie Essame only made a modest nurse’s living for most of her life, but Ms. Essame was very much a frugalist. She wore used clothes, old shoes, and took pleasure in activities that did not cost much money, like knitting and gardening. Despite her thrifty nature, she was always described as very generous. Neighbors who would occasionally ask for charitable donations for causes they were associated with would often receive large sums of money from her.
This is just one of the thousands known as the ‘hidden millionaire’.
So often, when we hear the words ‘rich’, or ‘wealthy’, our first thought goes to money. Yet, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most of those who’ve amassed fortunes haven’t experienced true happiness. Most have worked so hard, and for so long, they missed the opportunity to form long and lasting relationships.
In the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey has always dreamed of building skyscrapers, massive edifices that would leave his mark on the world. Yet, in his everyday life, George never broke out of the small town of Bedford Falls.
In a particularly damaging event, George was put in a situation where his business, his reputation, and his life’s work were put into jeopardy. In his despair, he contemplates suicide. In the film, God sends an angel, Clarence Audbody – AS2. Clarence was sent to show George that his life wasn’t as bad as he imagined it to be.
George hastily blurts out, “It would’ve been better if I had never been born!” to which Clarence is allowed to grant him that wish. In what seems to be a few hours, George is taken to places and made to see what life would be had he never been born.
The lives we touch throughout our lifetime accumulate and have a ripple effect that we could never predict nor know until we reach Heaven.
Because our eyes have been diverted from seeing the way God has for us; the people He desires us to influence, and the life we can speak into someone just by being kind, or some small gesture of love and encouragement; we miss the real value of the very relationships that give us joy and contentment.
Many have forsaken starting a family for their careers only to regret later when they can no longer do anything about it.
Others have pushed people away because they were awkward; different, or maybe even a challenge to accept only to find that they were the very ones that God placed in their path not only for them to help, but for them to be helped as well.
There are the ‘Clarence Audbodys’ in this world.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Those whom God has sent to minister to us. They may have come in the form of that crippled one whose disability makes us feel awkward or the homeless man or woman by the side of the road. It may have been that one everybody bullied, or made fun of for their uniqueness the group found hard to accept.
The benefits with which God daily loads us, may come in the form of opportunity. Opportunities to lay up treasure in Heaven for the way our life can influence others.
Sometimes we miss those opportunities because we form such a long list of criteria by which someone can be our friend. Most often, it’s because we are insecure with who we are, or we are fearful of rejection.
When I am secure in who I am in Christ, what others may think of me matters little. I can reach out and be at home in my own skin and minister with love and a spirit that is genuine.
Today, I could have written of all the spiritual benefits versus what the world has to offer, but, it all begins with our perspective. Surviving the day can be looked at as a benefit. Being able to have one more day with those we are given to love. Sight, hearing, mobility, a clear mind, one more day to provide the gospel to that lost soul.
If our eyes are blinded of all things except self, we will become miserable in time.
May our prayer be for God to open our eyes to the opportunities He provides for us to minister to others. Some call them divine appointments.
Seek what is closest to the heart of God, and you will begin to find such joy, such happiness! You will feel as if God has backed up His Heavenly dump truck and began unloading into your life!