Skip to main content

I forgot that blessing

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. (Melody Beattie)

What or who is it you find yourself complaining the most about? Chances are that thing or person is never going to be viewed as a blessing in your life until you change your way of seeing them just a little! I used to complain about not having a car when I was first married with young kids at home. If I wanted to go some place, I walked, rode the bike, or hitched a ride from a friend. Many a grocery trip was comprised of one child in the child carrier on my bike and another peddling alongside, with a backpack of groceries on my back. Then one day quite unexpectedly I was blessed with a car - as a gift! My in-laws bought a new one and no longer needed that little VW Rabbit. I was overjoyed to receive such a blessing. That is...until it began to break down every other day! Isn't it amazing how quickly we can view a blessing as a curse when that blessing doesn't live up to our "expectations" of the blessing?

I look up to the hills, but where will my help really come from? My help will come from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 ERV)

It is hard to always remain positive when bad things are happening, or people aren't behaving as we might have expected them to in a particular situation. It is much easier to begin to find fault and pick apart that circumstance, or the other person's character, than to just be grateful for the blessing they have been. Yes, the car broke down frequently. There was some type of wiring or computer problem under that hood, but most of the time it got me to where I needed to go. On the occasions it broke down, it actually drove me to learn a little about taking care of a car. You see, we didn't have much money, so every time it broke down, I had to break out the "auto repair for dummies" book and try to figure it out! Yes, my hands got greasy. Yes, it interrupted my plans a little to have the car not work as it should. Yes, it cost me a little extra here and there. But...it was a gift and a blessing - so I had to often adjust my perception by reminding myself of that fact!

Often we need to remind ourselves where it is our help comes from - because we look for it in the manuals, in other people, or in some form of man-made thing. The truth is, when we are truly standing in need, our help comes from the Lord. There were days I would be stranded somewhere with two small kids in the hot Arizona sun, head under hood, and hot pavement under my feet. In those moments, sweat dripping down my nose, I'd ask God to show me which wire, widget, or fuse needed a little tweaking. In time, he'd guide me to the right solution. Once it was the fuel injector, another time it was the fuel relay switch, and so on. In time, I got to know more about that little car than I probably knew about my entire house! Why? God helped me realize a blessing isn't always "self-maintained". Sometimes blessings in our lives need a little more attention in order to "function" at full capacity. 

What blessings have we been overlooking that may need a little bit of our attention today? It could be the blessing of a human nature, or something entirely material, such as the refrigerator that needs a good cleaning inside, outside, and underneath. It could be the one relationship you find is strained and just not going as well as you want it to, the one which demands attention, but you avoid like the plague because it is "so hard". Our help for dealing with blessings that are disguised or overlooked is to realize they all have come into our lives by God's hands and it is by his hands and guidance that they are maintained! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce