Three weeks ago, the pastor at the church we have been visiting drew our attention to Deuteronomy 8:
Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, [...] feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. [...] For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell.
And with it came a warning:
Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God [...] For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful!
Of the many points the pastor made that day, the one that stays with me is this:
Be thankful for everyday blessings.
I have talked recently about recognizing, and rejoicing in, the gift of a new day. Over the years, I have become complacent; I have stopped being thankful and have chosen to either take my blessings for granted or complain about the complications those blessings bring.
How sad is that?
(Disclaimer: I don't participate in the pain olympics and I don't want to minimize the impact of anyone's experience. Real emotions deserve real validation. Period.)
Being thankful for everyday blessings seems simple, but it's hard for me to put into practice. For me, being thankful for everyday blessings means that, when I'm frustrated with my job, I take time to be thankful that I have a job at all. When Little K is driving me nuts, I take time to be thankful that she exists and resides with us. When I forget something at the store and have to go back out to pick it up, I am thankful for the money to purchase groceries. When I'm stuck in traffic, I am thankful to I have a car that works.
The everyday blessings.
Every ALI blog I read reminds me how fragile life can be; we live in a world where loved one's die, where sickness occurs, where positive pregnancy tests don't equal live babies, where grief and depression overcome us, where worry seems to follow us, and where pain could be right around the corner. In my prayers today are Mo, Shmerson and Nadav, Addi's Mom and Mason, Peg and family, Mo, and Michelle and Alex. Some are grieving, some are hoping, some are just trying to survive, but all need prayer.
This past week another message has come through loud and clear:
Life is too precious to waste on complaints.
Lord, help me to notice and give thanks for the everyday blessings You provide. Bring healing and peace to your hurting children. Amen.