All the Time

     Don’t you simply love it when God blesses you with an awesome day when everything seems to be rocking along smoothly and things couldn’t be more perfect.  I was smack dab in the middle of one of those days recently when it took this sudden, dramatic turn for the worse. I had anticipated the events of this day for quite some time. The morning and early afternoon were great, but the latter part of the day went to pieces.  Sound familiar?
     In the past, that one bad occurrence would have been enough to erase all the wonderful things that had taken place earlier in the day.  I would have gone home and chalked the day up as a loss, disappointed and mad, nursing my sense of entitlement.  However, years of similar experiences and a growing relationship with the Lord have changed my verdict on the day.
     Many good things had happened that day.  I had opportunities to talk to people about the Lord.  I crossed paths with two women who had autistic family members, and we talked.  I had opportunities to share my precious Jesus.  This day was only a loss if I chose to focus on the one bad thing that happened, pushing all the good to the side.  As I traveled home, I reflected on the blessings of the day, and realized how very far the Lord had brought me in this journey.
     In the past, I had cancelled out so much of God’s grace and goodness by dwelling solely on the disappointing, painful events in my life. I had absolutely overlooked the ongoing everyday blessings and focused on being angry and depressed about the things that didn’t go my way. Oh, that we had the vision in those times to see God’s goodness is ever present as He showers us with mercy and uses those moments to draw us closer to Him and an understanding of His goodness in all situations. That happens when we look beyond the “Why Me?” of the situation to say, “Lord what are you teaching me, what are me showing me of your divine character in this mess of a moment. How are you shaping my life to be more like you? I know you are with me in this. Open the eyes of my heart to find you.”
     If we train ourselves to more thankful on an every day basis for God’s boundless blessings, perhaps this might change our all or nothing mindset. Stop for a moment and count God’s blessings in your life.  Begin with the blessing of having a Heavenly Father, who despite our undeserving, sinful nature sacrificed His son, Jesus, to die for us so that we might be forgiven and spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  Is there food on your table, do you have clothes to wear, shelter, a job, people who love you, the very air in your lungs to live this day? You can surely take it from there. Be thankful for the good and the bad. The bad always reminds me that God is still very actively working on me to shape me into His likeness. He hasn’t given up on me.  Hallelujah!
     Set aside a time of reflection on your life story, the good and the bad, and ask God to show you how He never left your side. Often, in retrospect these things become so much more clear. How have you been able to cope with a recent encounter in your life more capably because of strength you gained in some seemingly unbearable moment.  Focus on God’s bountiful blessings, draw close and seek to Him in the hard times. Remember, God is good all the time; all the time God is good. To God be the glory!

    
  

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