Monday, September 23, 2013

Grateful For My Blessings

When in the course of events (Sounds a bit like I'm starting a declaration of independence or something.) life changes from what it was, we may be tempted to stop the gratitude and concentrate on the circumstance. Not so very long ago, I had money to spend and to lend, as Tolkien put it, and I did. Giving to ministries was a high privilege and one that I enjoyed very much. I thanked God for it, and even tried to be a good steward by directing that money into certain ministry buckets at times. Then, as I grew in faith, I just gave into ministry general budgets and praised God for it. I no longer thought it my duty to direct and control in my giving. (However, the temptation to be that person still exists in me.) Then, the time came when there was nothing in the bank tank to give.

It was at that time that I should have thanked God for my blessings, but I was too caught up in the circumstance to remember. Like the Israelites, I would look around and grumble, while knowing full well that sort of thing angers my God. Like the Israelites, I also fell into looking back to 'Egypt'. That temptation also still comes up in me at times. In the Bible study I am preparing for tomorrow morning, Joseph finally arrives in his promised land. What I cannot forget is that Joseph in faith endured much before arriving there, and his tribulations probably did not end with his new position. The Israelites also entered their promised land, but after not one trip through the wilderness, but many years of wandering in it. The Pilgrims came to a promised land of religious freedom in America, but they too had to endure a period of severe trial before that day came. All of them had at least one thing to learn: give thanks to God even in what seems the most dire of circumstances.

For our God did not promise to provide in only the good times; He promised to provide what we need at all times. What God knows I need may fall far short of what I think I need. That kinda goes without saying, but I said it anyway. Thanking God in all circumstances does run up against my perceived shortfalls, but all the more reason to work on thanking Him. I do have blessings all around me. Most of them walk, talk, and praise God with me. Some are related to me, others I call friend, but all I believe are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Loving these blessings helps me to remember to thank God for them. Just like loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength helps me to remember to thank God for His Son.

The wonderful and gracious love of Christ to you on this fine morning!

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