Amidst a whirl of activity in their home, Anne tried futility to regain composure in instructing her six younger siblings. The day before, her parents had left to go on a short vacation together; while she was joyful at the chance of making their time away possible, the mess in the living room, the food plastered on the walls, and the unruly toddlers were certainly quickly wearing away her patience. Desperately, she called her younger sister to assist the baby.
Then the telephone rang. With a sigh, she answered, and was surprised by sorrowful sobs of a dear friend. Hushed out of her own weary complaint of her home’s disarray, Anne wondered what had happened, and her friend relayed the shocking news. “Last night, two mothers in my community were driving home together from their fellowship meeting. It was storming severely as they neared home. With such terrible visibility, an oncoming car hit them in a head-on collision and killed both mothers instantly!” Anne’s mind trembled and her eyes filled with grief and shock. Thirteen children now motherless?
Anne looked around her home, at her vibrant and healthy siblings, godly parents, and in awe wondered how her Heavenly Father would see fit to bless her so tremendously. Even more amazed, she remembered the sacrifice and suffering Christ bore when He took upon Himself the wrath of God for her sins. The words of an old hymn came to mind as she bowed her head with tears in her eyes, and praised the Lord for His incredible benefits.
“O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,
My great Redeemer’s Praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His praise.
My gracious Master and My God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread thro’ all the earth abroad,
The honors of Thy name.”
As I shared in in May 2011, the more I have learned about our God and His mercy, the more I fall to my knees in humble thankfulness for all He has blessed me with. When I go outside every morning, I am surrounded by the most marvelous handiwork of a powerful, all-wise Creator (think of how our world is sovereignly ruled, from the affairs of greatest nations, down to the tiniest atom, by Christ our Savior). Have you ever realized the blessings of our world…
-being inhabitable, unlike every other planet in our solar system
-maintains hospitable temperatures and habitats to sustain human life
-births fresh and nutritious foods that contain just the vitamins and minerals that we need to survive
-is painted with vibrant and diverse colors (right now in bright leaves and clear blue skies)
– doesn’t look like some flat surface that has just been obliterated!
All of these incredible facts are not just chance happenings, but manifestations of God’s mercy toward us! The fact that I woke up this morning free of guilt, and still breathing, is proof of God’s mercy and blessing, in that He should have killed me in justice to the sins I committed yesterday – that is His pure mercy. You see, when we realize how righteous GOD is, how sinful and wormy WE as man are, and that yet God is restrained by HIS own righteous character, we are more and more awed.“For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering” (Isaiah 61:8).
Sisters, I want to exhort you to remember this truth and go through your days with this perspective of humble gratitude. Remember how much you have been given and how many blessings lay before your eyes. Remember the more destitute families and children around the world who have not a fraction of what you do materially. Think of those who have lost parents or family members due to accidents or sickness. “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel” (Isaiah 63:7). Do not take your life for granted or overlook God’s precious blessings.
“Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy hill;
for the LORD our God is holy.”
challenge to thankfulness
Decorate a little basket or jar and set it on your bed stand. Every day, write the blessings God has given you on small papers and store them in that jar. Whenever you feel discouraged, read these recordings of God’s past faithfulness and recall the goodness of God, inspiring faith and trust in His mercy once more.
This month, I am taking a challenge with other KBR readers to thank the Lord for 7 things each day that I am thankful for. In the past, this exercise has challenged me to look back over what God has done throughout the hours for me, and to look around every corner for His blessings. What better time to exercise thankfulness than with the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday approaching?! You are invited to join us November 1-30.
Let us join the hosts in praising our God daily for His benefits!!
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD:
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God,
& a great King above all god.”
Joining a Thousand Tongues in Praising Our King,
n o t e » As we approach the end of this year, I’d love to hear your suggestions for our forum. Do you have any new ideas or would you like a new format in 2012, such as Q&A, guest writers, different topics, practical tips or recipes, or even challenges? Would you be willing to contribute to a future month’s article? Please give me your opinion as we prayerfully plan into the year of 2012. ~Sarah
2 c o m m e n t s »
susan » It does us good to remember that others have troubles just as we do. “I had the blues, because I had no shoes, until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” That helps us count our blessings! Thanks for your thoughts.
martha joy »Thank you so much, dear Sarah Lee, for the wonderful reminder! What a great article! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love you! ~ Psalm 119:105
sarah lee » That quote is a very striking reminder, Susan! Martha, thank you – I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Blessings to you both! Jer. 7:17