Tag Archives: blessing

Thanksgiving

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.  Psalm 100:4

You are probably familiar with the fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  Do you know what’s not in that list?  Thankfulness.  Isn’t that interesting?  God commands us to be thankful, and yet He doesn’t provide us with thankfulness.  Why is that?

Merriam-Webster defines being thankful as being “conscious of benefit received”.  If you’re not conscious of the fact that you’ve received a blessing, you’re not likely to be thankful for it, but if you’re aware of it, how thankful you become!  So thankfulness is a choice that we can make.  We can either choose to be thankful or we can choose to be entitled, meaning we believe that we deserve what we have received.

James 1:17 tells us that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…”  I grew up in the Presbyterian faith where we sang the Doxology every Sunday.  The first line of the Doxology echoes James by saying, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”  What blessings do you have in your life?  You have the blessing of a God who loves you so much that He didn’t even spare His own Son in order to make a way for you to be with Him for eternity.  If you’ve received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have the blessing of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you.  You may have blessings such as family, friends, food to eat, a place to live, a car to drive, good health, clothes to wear, water to drink, a job.  Many people don’t have those blessings, so if you have them, be thankful!  Give credit to God for providing those things for you and pray for those who don’t have those blessings yet in their lives.

Here in the U.S. we are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.  I won’t get to be with my family or friends this year on Thanksgiving Day (although I’ll see some of my family and friends in Georgia later in the weekend).  I work a second job in a department store, so tomorrow I will have to be at work at 4:45 p.m. and I will work a 13 hour shift ending on Friday morning at 6.  Wow!  Lots of people would not be thankful for that, I guess, but I am.  I’m grateful that God gives me the ability to work two jobs, that He provides for me lavishly through them, and that He gives me everything I need to be able to work such a long shift.  I’m grateful for the customers who come in and brighten my day, and I pray that I can be a blessing to them in some small way as well.  I’m grateful for my co-workers who make it fun to go to work and my managers who support me.  I’m grateful to get to shine the love of Jesus to so many people as they are rushing around looking for great bargains on future Christmas gifts.  I’m grateful that God has given me another day to cultivate the “attitude of gratitude” in my own heart.  🙂

Friends, I’ll ask you again:  What blessings do you have in your life?  Have you given thanks for them today?  Please share some of your blessings in the comments below and let’s grow in our ability to praise Him for all the blessings He gives!

The Broken Road to Georgia

“Uh-oh,” I said to my husband, Michael, “This is NOT good.”

It was last Friday night and I was driving my relatively new car down I-75 S about thirty miles outside of Lexington, KY where we live.  We were heading to Georgia for the weekend to visit with family and to attend the University of Georgia football game on Saturday.  I was in the middle of three southbound lanes and cruising along with traffic at 80 mph when all of a sudden three of the dashboard warning lights started coming on and the radio display began flashing.  The next thing I knew, ALL of the dashboard warning lights were on and I lost all power to the car.

I was in quite a fix.  Traffic was heavy.  There were large 18 wheelers lumbering along in the right hand lane and people were whizzing by me in the left hand lane.  I had no turn signals and no emergency flashers to even warn people that I was slowing down.  As the car slowed, people in my lane began swerving to either lane beside me to avoid me, some with horns honking in irritation.

Finally I got an opening in the traffic in the right hand lane, and I was able to safely navigate my ever-slowing car into that lane and on into the emergency lane.  Whew!  From there, we called for a tow truck to haul us back to the dealer in Lexington, then an Uber to pick us up at the dealer and take us back to our house so that we could get Michael’s car, and we started our journey all over again.  (We eventually made it to my dad’s house outside Atlanta at a few minutes before 3 a.m.!)

As we drove down I-75 the second time, we started recounting God’s blessings to us just in this little incident:

  • We were able to safely navigate to the side of the road in a very dangerous situation.
  • The manufacturer of the car provided the tow truck service at no cost to us.
  • The tow truck arrived quickly.
  • The tow truck driver was very pleasant and very professional and we enjoyed our ride with him.
  • The Uber driver was also quite prompt,  pleasant and cordial and we enjoyed our ride with him also.
  • All of the work to be done on my car, which has turned out to be fairly extensive, is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty at no cost to us.
  • We had a second car available so that we were still able to make the trip in spite of the delay.
  • I was not driving alone on this trip (as I often do).
  • The car broke down close enough to Lexington that we were able to be towed to our regular dealer and were not left stranded somewhere for the night.

This is just a fraction of the ways that He blessed us that night, and we remain in awe of the many ways that He took care of us in the whole situation.  Isn’t He marvelous?  Don’t His many blessings speak of His great love for us?  We give Him all the thanks and praise and glory!

How do you see the Lord working in your life?  What blessings are you thanking Him for today?  Leave a post in the comments!

The Need for Speed

Speed 2

It was early in life when I discovered that I had an apparently inborn need for speed. My theory was why walk when you can run? I loved having the wind in my hair, and the faster I went, the better. When I got older, my best friend and I rode our bikes regularly at a nearby state park. There was one long downhill stretch where we were able to hit speeds of between 35 and 40 mph. What a blast! I started riding horses, and I loved galloping across grassy fields, pretending that I was aboard Secretariat in one of the Triple Crown races. I loved fast roller coasters, fast cars and fast motorcycles. The faster things went, the happier it made me!

Saleen

Maybe you get motion sickness just thinking about some of the things in that first paragraph – my apologies if you do. However, don’t you agree that we all like to get things quickly these days? We don’t like to be stuck in slow traffic when we’re driving. We like to be served quickly at restaurants. We order items on the internet and have them shipped to our homes in a matter of just a day or two. Speaking of the internet, don’t you just hate it when you have to wait…and wait…and wait for a page to load? (I don’t know how we ever survived the days of dial-up internet connections!)

Another time that we hate to wait is when we need or want something from God. These times can be when we’re waiting for something rather small, but sometimes our need is great. We cry out to Him over and over again, and still we wait. My friend, if you are in that place today, I want to tell you that you are not alone. Even the Psalmists often cried out to Him for help, as in these verses:

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. (Psalm 22:11)

But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. (Psalm 22:19)

Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. (Psalm 31:2)

Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior. (Psalm 38:22)

Some seem to need God’s help even more urgently:

But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay. (Psalm 40:17)

Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, Lord, to help me. (Psalm 70:1)

…May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. (Psalm 79:8)

I have been in that place of waiting for God when I had an urgent need. I didn’t hear anything from God; I didn’t see Him moving on my behalf. I was even afraid that maybe He hadn’t heard me, until I remembered one of my favorite verses: Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! (Psalm 116:2 NLT) Yes, He listens to our prayers, even when we don’t have the answer yet.

I grew to learn that there are blessings in the waiting. The same Psalmists who called out for God’s quick response to their prayers also knew the importance of waiting for His response:

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)

Waiting may not be easy. When I’m waiting for anything at all, I want to know how long I have to wait. Amazon will tell me how long I have to wait for my package to arrive, but God doesn’t usually tell me how long I’ll have to wait for His answer. I have found that my faith actually grows during the times of waiting. Here are some verses to encourage you if you are in a place of waiting today:

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18)

It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:26)

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)

You are blessed when you wait for Him. Waiting for Him is good. Your God will hear you. Those are promises that He makes to us, and He never breaks His word. We can trust Him in the waiting. Here are a couple of suggestions to help you through the waiting:

  • Remember times before when He has shown Himself to be faithful to you. He’ll be faithful again.
  • Continue to pray and share your heart with Him about your need, but trust that He hears you and is answering, even when you don’t see it yet.
  • Reach out to other believers who can help you keep your eyes on Jesus as you wait for His answer. If you know someone who has been through a similar need that was met by God, borrow courage from his or her story.
  • Ask others to pray for you as you wait. Ask them to lift up your need to Him but also ask them to pray that your faith will be grown.

His answers are always worth the wait. Take heart, dear ones, and trust Him.