Thursday, September 21, 2017

be thankful for every little thing!



Two nights ago, a line of severe thunderstorms passed through my state of Minnesota. In its wake was much damage. My own pear tree was hit by lightning and it succumbed to the chainsaw the next day. I mourned the loss of that tree. It's fruit gave many honeybees something to sip on as it lay on the ground, waiting for me to clean it up. It's shade was home to many songbirds. It's beauty was a thing to behold. And now, it is no more.

I think now of the damage done by not one, but THREE hurricanes in just as many weeks. Damage to homes, to businesses, to vegetation and to livelihoods. It makes my own pear tree loss seem pretty puny, when I think about it. And I do think about the total devastation of those hurricanes often. I think about the many families who now need to start over. I think about the many island nations that were totally wiped off the earth. There is absolutely nothing there for them to re-build with, so they must move on. I have only felt such loss once before in my life and that was when I was three years old and our house was set on fire in the middle of the night. I had only the pajamas I was wearing, as did my folks. My beloved panda toy was lost in the fire. How does one comfort a child who has lost her favorite toy? I relate that to now...how does one comfort people who have lost everything?

Reach out. Reach out and help without thought of reward. Jesus healed, He helped, He comforted and then, just as the Lone Ranger did, He moved on. He performed miracles, yes, but soon, people became so caught up in the "miracles" that they did not see Him for who He was! They were more grateful that the "disaster" of their lives were mitigated...and forgot that the One they had just had contact with was the One whom they had been waiting for! The Son of God...THE Messiah! I'm sure His heart grieved also. Very few came back to thank Him, in fact, there were ten lepers who were healed, yet only one came back to offer thanksgiving.

Luke 17:11-19New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance  and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

How about you? How often do you show your gratitude for all that you have received? We pray our litanies to God...we beg, we cry, we storm heaven with prayers, but do you truly show gratitude after having received an answer?

Live out your life in gratitude, friends! be grateful for every living thing! For me, when I saw the damaged tree, I immediately prayed, "thank you, God, for sparing my house!" as my house was mere steps away! "Thank you, God, that our town wasn't hit any harder than it was." "Thank you, God, for so many have endured so much more, and I feel so puny when I see what I have dealt with."

Mostly, thank you, Lord, for every thing...every thing!"

So many have so much less.
So many have so much more.
How much of your "more" will you be sharing with those who have so much less?

May God be with you today.
Amen.