Happy and Sad

An ancient fable tells of three merchants crossing the Arabian Desert. Traveling in darkness to avoid the intense heat one starless night, they were passing over a dry creek bed when a voice form the blackness commanded them to halt. They were then ordered to stoop, pick up pebbles form the creek bed, and put them in their pockets. After obeying the strange command, they were told to leave that place, camping nowhere near.

The mysterious voice then told them that in the morning they would be both happy and sad. Shaken and confused, and obeying the mysterious intruder, they traveled through the night. When morning came, the men anxiously looked into their pockets, and rather than finding the pebbles as expected, there were precious jewels.

They, indeed, were happy and sad. They were happy they had picked up the jewels, but sad because while they had the opportunity they had not picked up many more.

This legend beautifully expresses how many feel about the unsearchable riches of God's Word. We are thrilled we have absorbed as much as we have, but sad because we have not absorbed much more. Specifically, I feel this way about two dynamic verses in Galatians, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: against such there is no law" (Gal, 5:22-23).

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