It is time to be grateful.
It is always time to be grateful, but this morning I talked with someone who’s life is at a point where I cannot help but whisper to myself “But for the grace of God, there goes I.”
Really, her situation is one that is convoluted, involving many parties, much time, and is of course sin driven and painful. But it could happen to anyone. Sin happens to us all, and any one of us could suddenly be entrenched in the mire of ugliness that she is experiencing.
I don’t mean to take an attitude of “Oh, I am so much more blessed than another person because I haven’t sinned like her and those around her.” As if somehow I’m better off. I’ve got my share of mired up ugliness caused by my own sin as well as the sin of those around me. I’ve also got many many blessings (as does the woman I interacted with this morning).
My blessings come from God, who is fully aware of my needs and specially designs these blessings for me.
Being fully aware of my needs, God is also fully aware of the challenges He allows in my life – again, specially designed for me. In my arrogance I’d often like to think the challenges came along for the benefit of someone else and I’m just along for the ride. Or the enemy thrust them upon me and I am just a victim of his evil plot.
I’m not along for the ride or a victim. I’m there in the mire of ugliness to learn and grow and draw closer to God.
Knowing God as loving, just, thorough and intimately familiar with me and my goings on, I appreciate the whole picture: blessings and challenges.
It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the challenges that come up in our lives. But when I take the time to think about it, what draws my heart away from God and into stress and distraction is so small compared to the blessings designed and placed just for me. I need cling to that perspective.
Counting the blessings is one way of helping my heart to stay where it belongs.
1202. And opportunity to talk with J through a time of stress;
1203. Insight into J and the source of his stress;
1204. Courage to do the uncomfortable and let go of some of my controlling nature;
1205. Fellowship with good friends;
1206. Meeting someone new and finding connections, including faith;
1207. Guest preacher who gave a needed message;
1208. Babies coming to friends we love;
1209. Photo session at the iron bridge;
1210. J’s accomplishment with hunter safety test;
1211. Fresh fruit to serve to guests
1212. Fitting in a run
1213. Family time accomplishing chores;
1214. Family time relaxing together;
1215. J’s heart to know about God’s plans;
1216. Being exhausted at the end of the day as we crawl into bed;
1217. Pain that went away;
1218. Apology from a 2.5 year-old (oh so cute);
1219. People in our lives who can help meet J’s interests in areas we are not skilled;
1220. J having different interests than us – being his own self;
1221. Satisfaction and soothing relief of a cool fruit smoothie on a hot afternoon;
1222. J’s heart for those who hurt