I think the reality of actually living on the East Coast of the United States of America in the state of North Carolina is finally beginning to settle upon my wife and I! Yesterday we took the next permanent step by getting new title and registration for our car in our new home state. In other words, we now have North Carolina license plates! The best part is that I finally get to take that funky front plate holder off the car as it definitely ruins the smooth lines of the front end of the vehicle! North Carolina only requires a rear license so that bulky, quick fix addition that car manufactures added to the cars in states that require two plates, that has faded and doesn’t match the rest of the car, comes off today!
Now, I’m not too sure what that bit of information has to do with today’s post, but since it is another milestone of our move, I thought I’d share it with you! What I really wanted to talk with you about was a funny incident that occurred just as we sat down for dinner last night. As I have mentioned before, our patio faces the back of our community with a view of grassy expanses and beautiful trees. It is pretty quiet and except for the occasional dog walker, we don’t normally have much foot traffic. So when two cute little children suddenly appeared outside our patio, my wife and I were taken with interest. It happened so fast that even the dog seemed to be surprised as it took a few moments for her to figure out what was happening and bark!
It looked to me that they were captivated by our upside down hanging tomato plant which is just about touching the railing on the fence around the deck and is beginning to be studded with little green tomatoes. The two kids stood there for a minute or so laughing, chattering away and pointing at the green vine. Then they turned, and as fast as they had appeared… were gone!
That incident just made our day! For a moment there, it was like we saw the world through their gleeful, bright and happy faces! The look they had is the way that I want to see and experience life! This morning as I continued to read from the book of Matthew, I was reminded of this thought when the Lord seemed to place Matthew 6: 14 and 21 together. In verse fourteen Jesus instructs us declaring, “If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Then in verse twenty-one He concluded that “Your heart will always be where your treasure is.” (God’s Word © and The Contemporary English Version)
To me, this is a teaching that tells me that the things I treasure in my heart are what I will see in the lives of other people! Later on in this same chapter Jesus talks about the impossibility of serving two masters at the same time, mentioning in particular, God and money. This was something that was a prevalent force in some of the initial accusations that came against us after I made what I believe to be the God led decision to quit my outside job in order to personally care for the love of my life a few years back. The waters seemed to be smooth until that flow of income came to a stop. Then panic set in and any restraint on the part of a few folks disappeared as we became open game for attacks directly to us and by the back door to a few friends and our children as well.
Job 3:25 tells us that the things that we fear will come upon us. One version puts it as “my worst fears have all come true.” (CEV) Those words seemed to vividly describe what a few folks saw when we stepped out in faith, as opposed to what we knew our obedience in faith would do for us! The expectation we had in our hearts is what we saw and is that which gave us the joyful attitude to move on with Him.
Think about that for a moment. What do you treasure in your heart? Do your worst fears come upon you at times, or do you expect good things and see them more often than not? Jesus seemed to want us to see His love in ourselves as well in the lives of others. In the above scripture He teaches us to quickly forgive and forget when others may fail us. When we see and act in His love (ie; treasure it in our hearts), we will reap it’s rewards. Instead of anger driven by fear, we will be filled with contentment and joy… just like we saw on the faces of those two children last night as they starred in awe at the luscious, green vine hanging from our patio cover.
So let me put it to you again… What do you treasure in your heart, and therefore what do you see in others as you walk through your life each day? Have a good day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom are you expecting today?”