Have you ever taken the time to look back at all the many blessings you have enjoyed in your lifetime? For some reason, this past Sunday afternoon I found myself doing just that as I waited for some people to arrive at my home for a meeting. As I sat there, I soon began to find myself looking back at all the many blessings the Lord had given to me and my wonderful wife Gail these past 37 years. Among all the many blessings that came to my mind that afternoon, two huge blessings stuck out from among all the other blessings and those two blessings were our two children; our daughter Summer and our son, Jesse.
My wife Gail and I have never had some of the many problems with our children that sadly many Christian parents have had to go through with their own. As a pastor, I have sadly heard the many sad reports of parents dilemma with their kids who have gone awry. I have sadly seen parents at their wit’s end because their children had fallen away from the Lord or made some very poor choices in their life. I’ve watched as mothers and fathers wept over their children and all I could do was grieve with them, offer some Godly counsel and pray for them. I wished there was something I could do to make their circumstances go away.
Please understand that I am not saying our kids were perfect by any means because they each had their moments of trying to push the limits with us but never to the degree that I have sadly seen some kids do to their parents; even including myself when I was a young boy. Our children, though they are adults now they will always be our kids, have never missed going to church and have always had a hunger and thirst for the things of the Lord in spite of both of them enduring some difficult times in their lives. Though our children have sadly seen the bad side of what church and church people can be at times, it has never caused them to stay away from church or more importantly; stay away from the Lord.
As I looked back this past Sunday afternoon at how richly the Lord had blessed us with two amazing and wonderful children, I felt the Lord quietly speak to my heart saying, “I did that because I love you but when was the last time you thanked me for that?” Can anyone besides me say OUCH!!!
Remember the account in Luke 17:11-19 where Jesus healed 10 men who had leprosy and only one came back to thank Him, and he was a Samaritan; people who did not associate with Jews (Jesus was a Jew). Leprosy was not only a horrible disease to have, it was a mark that said to anyone who came close to you, that you were ‘unclean’ which meant you would be forever cut off from people. 10 men were healed that day and I am sure they all were more than grateful for what Jesus had done for them, but only one man made the effort to go back and thank Jesus for what He had done for him. Do you sadly find yourself making that same mistake today?
If you looked back at all the many amazing things the Lord has blessed you with in your life, do you remember telling Him how grateful; how thankful you were for His act of kindness towards you? Paul writes in Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Paul also writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
In Deuteronomy 8 we read where the Lord spoke a very powerful word to the Israelites through His servant Moses that also applies to we His people today. Deuteronomy 8:10-14 “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you today. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase, and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Sadly too often we want to think that it is because of the sweat of our brow, or because of the talents and strengths we think we have; or because of all the good connections we have made in life that those are the reasons we are so blessed in life. God forbid we ever arrive to that place. It is only because of His mercy, grace and kindness that the Lord extends to our life that we have any blessings at all.
This being what many call the month of Thanksgiving, I would ask that you take some time one day and look back at all the many blessings the Lord has blessed you with in your lifetime. Though you may have said it to the Lord then, I suggest you take some time and again express an ever grateful ‘thank You’ to the Lord for all He has done for you. Trust me in this, you will feel a lot better when you do that!! Happy Thanksgiving to all my precious brothers and sisters!! I truly thank the Lord for giving me such wonderful friends such as you 🙂
Categories: A Pastor's Blog