Hidden Treasures – Clenched Fists

While preparing dinner the other night I decided to get the little people more involved.  As the older two point out to me repeatedly “we were doing so much more to help out around here when we were eight and six”.  So, there was corn to be shucked - I thought this would be a perfect job for The Little Man, here’s how the conversation went down.

Me: Hey Bud, come here I have a job for you.

 The Little Man: What is it?

 Me: Here hold this while I open the bag. (Hand him and ear of corn in the husk.)

The Little Man: Disgusted look on his face, says eeewwweee!

 Me: Now what you do is hold it in the bag and peel the green leaves back like this.

The Little Man: With extreme excitement and a surprised look on his face he exclaims “IT'S CORN!!!!”

I’m sure based on his response he was thinking something like, who knew something so yummy could come in such a yucky package.

There was a song out a while ago by Laura Story, "Blessings" that reminded me of his response.

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe


When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home


What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

I’m reminded through The Little Man’s exclamation and that song, that I shouldn’t immediately snub my nose at something gross or turn to God and say take this horrible thing away.  God may very well be trying to give me a blessing, some grace, get me to rely on Him, let me know He’s got this and if I turn my back to it, what am I missing out on?  Writing this, I think about all the gifts my kids have made me, imperfect, not so pretty gifts that I never once refused because they made it in love, for me.  Those gifts were perfect in their eyes and they believed it was exactly what I needed or wanted from them.  What if God is giving me gifts that I see as imperfect, not so pretty, ugly but He knows they are absolutely perfect and just what I need?  Are my hands clenched, my back turned to His wonderful blessings and gifts?

I recently heard a priest explain the story of the Prodigal Son, a story that I have always struggled with.  I was the person that identified with the son who stayed home and worked for the father.
I always saw the story as unfair to the loyal son.  I thought woo hoo!  Great for the prodigal son!  What is this story saying?  I can go out, break the rules and party but as long as I’m sorry and turn back to God I’m good?!  I know people who act like the prodigal son and I’m sure, are counting on that return home.  I have looked at them and in my pious, superiority judged how unfair life is.  I mean REALLY I’m over here doing all that I should (can you here the air of superiority, indignation and judgment in my voice?!  I guess I identify with the Pharisee’s too!) and life is hard, really hard.  They are out there partying, living it up and everything seems to be coming up roses and sunshine for them.  What is wrong with this picture?!

Well the priest went on to explain that the “Father” in the story turns to the loyal son and says “everything I have is yours”.  The son says “you’ve given me nothing!!!” but the father says “EVERYTHING I have is YOURS”.  So what’s the problem?!  The problem and here’s where my two by four upside the head comes in, the father has given everything to the son but the son isn’t, ready for this, RECEIVING it!!!  The son thinks he has to earn it, has his fists clenched and isn’t open to or enjoying all that his father has given him.
Get this, first of all I can’t EARN the Father’s love, I already have it.  I had it the moment He thought me into existence!  I can do NOTHING to lose it, not even when I’m being a spoiled brat, turning my back on His gifts and blessings and not when I’m being judgmental and acting like Nellie Olsen
 or Veruca Salt.
The “father” never stopped loving the prodigal just because he left, no matter how badly he behaved the “father” still loved him.  And so does my heavenly Father!  So I guess, I’ve learned not only do I act like the loyal son but I also act like the prodigal son too.  (My party of choice is brat and being judgmental.)  SO!!!  My prayer today, Lord please help me to open my fists, turn around and receive all that you have to give to me even if it isn’t pretty or looks gross.  And, please, please, please help me to change my spoiled brat heart to one of thanksgiving, gratefulness and non-judgment!

Images borrowed from www.etftrends.com,  www.freebibleimages.org, www.anxietyslayer.com, www.charactergrades.com, www.businessinsider.com


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