First, a confession. I’ve barely written anything lately other than my grocery list. A few weeks ago I had a couple of marathon days working on my book (and am now really close to finishing the first draft). But since then I’ve barely touched my writing. Still been reading plenty, but I think I’ve only attempted poetry one time, and I know I haven’t shared much on here. Hopefully another few weeks and I’ll get back into writing mode.
But, there’s good news. It’s time again for another Five Minute Friday. And even if I’m not feeling poetic or prosaic, I can at least write for five minutes. Especially when someone else gives me the topic, which today happens to be….
My thoughts turn first to all the many things I am grateful for. For a God who would save a sinner like me. For a God who became man because He loved me. For a God who grafted me into His family, when I was the least deserving of all. For a God who wants a relationship with me.
I’m grateful for a husband who has loved me these past four years, who has been a picture of Christ loving the church. For the way he has taught me about my relationship with God. For the way he has cared for me, provided for me, even at cost to himself. For the way he leads in our home. For the way he is everything a husband should be, and then some.
I’m grateful for Christian parents and parents-in-law. For a Christian upbringing, for being taught the Bible from day one, for being made to memorize verses and chapters and even whole books of the Bible throughout my childhood. It’s coming back to help me now. I’m grateful that I have always had a solid church to be part of. I’m grateful for pastors who preach the Word. For professors who teach the Word. For solid, in depth education at a Christ-centered university.
Time’s Up… but I want to continue this thought, so bear with me another minute or two.
In a way it’s easy to be grateful for all those things that I mentioned above. They’re all good things. No believer would disagree with me there, I hope. But what about the day to day things? What about being grateful for having to wake up early on your vacation. Or losing sleep over a fussy child. Or dealing with bank mergers that cause more problems than solutions.
What about the little things? Like cleaning up dog hair every day. Picking up your spouse’s dirty laundry. Taking out the trash, because they’re hardly home to do it. Dealing with crowded parking lots and even more crowded grocery stores. Hot, muggy weather. Cold, icy weather. Washers that break. Cars that need fixing.
We complain so much about so many things. Nothing is ever perfect, and boy do we let people know that. Nothing is ever “just right” for us. Even at Christmas time (and I’ve been guilty of this), when people give us gifts that don’t really thrill us… instead of focusing on the thoughtfulness of the giver, we immediately start meditating on how much we dislike whatever it is. Don’t we do that to God too?
He sends us rain, but we don’t want it. So instead of praising Him for knowing what the earth needs physically or what man needs spiritually, we complain. Because it doesn’t fit with our plans for the day. Then He sends us sunshine, but it gets too hot. He sends cooler weather, but then it’s too cold. Have you ever noticed that we never want what we have until it changes?
I think it could all be remedied by being more grateful. By choosing to thank God for whatever He sends, even if we don’t like it. Because His plans are different than our plans. Better, actually. Because He has planned it all out from the beginning, and nothing ever takes Him by surprise. Because He knows what we truly need, versus what we merely want, even when we confuse the two.
Because He is the good giver of the perfect gift. And He will not hold back any good thing to those of us who are walking with Him in righteousness.
I would love if you could share with me two or three “unexpected” things you are grateful for today, things that would otherwise upset or frustrate you. Mine would be…
1. That I get to go grocery shopping, because it means we have money to eat decently and local stores that sell tasty and healthful food at reasonable prices.
2. Also, that my husband has to work so much, even though it means we don’t have a lot of free time together, because it means he actually has work.
3. Finally, for caller id… so it can warn me when telemarketers call and save me the headache of trying to say no twenty (or more) different ways.
What unexpected things are you thankful for today?