Sunday, September 7, 2014

Good Morning, Father - Part 2 - Blessings

Sometimes I clean out files and find things I have written and set aside then forgotten. When I rediscover these musings, it’s not unlike finding myself when I didn’t even know I was missing. 

I am going to share, over the coming posts, one at a time, a small collection of devotionals I wrote over a decade ago, titled, Good Morning, Father. In His unfathomable wisdom, He knew I would need these affirmations and faith strengthening words in a future time unknown to me as I typed them. And now the time has come.

May you be blessed with whatever you need.

For Him,

Sunrise is the renewal of a promise. A chance to begin again, afresh, with all the bad choices of the previous days behind us, every new day is an opportunity to seek to serve God and use whatever time we have remaining to us better than we have ever done before.  We cannot know how many mornings we are granted, but if we make it through the night to see another dawn, we are given the gift of time, at least once more, to get it right. For by the amazing grace of our Sovereign God all the wrong living we have done in the past is forgiven and forgotten in the instant we are willing to surrender and move forward toward Him and His will, relinquishing our own.

Though the days we have wasted cannot be changed, the new one, unfolding in front of us, holds the promise to be the one that could make it all okay.

It’s our choice.


Good Morning, Father,

Thank you for the message. I needed to hear it and I record this so that others might benefit from it as well. Let me see if I got it right.

I was covered in sawdust, working in my shop, when I felt the call to stop, sit down and write. I am familiar enough with this urging to obey instantly, even if I don’t know why. I turned off the sander, shook off the fine wood dust and sat down to type, what exactly I wasn’t sure. Even an hour later, after the page was done, I thought it was about something else. I sent the letter to its destination. This morning after quiet reflection of the whole day and all the parts and pieces that came together to make it, I see what the message was really about now. 

We don’t know what a real blessing is or how to thank You for it, do we?

We think we know. We see blessings as only good things coming our way. We pray for them for others and ourselves. We define them as luck, miracles, good fortune, financial rewards, relief from pain and heartache, success, happiness or emotional uplifting. We thank You, Father, for our homes, food and children. Sometimes we stretch a bit and even thank You for those lesser blessings like a sunny day when we have an outdoor activity planned, as though the sun only shines on us. It never occurs to us to consider our hardships as blessings, even if down the road we benefit from them. And since we don’t recognize these as blessings, we never offer our gratitude to You for them, Father. This, then, is the lesson we all need to learn.

The gentle truth of it settled in on me as I recalled a conversation with a friend, who recently wrenched her knee and must now have major surgery that will keep her immobile for a month. She was distraught even though the doctor told her that an old injury would have caused her to be crippled in a year’s time if she hadn’t had this new accident to call attention to it. The pain of this accident and the inconvenience the surgery will impose are both blessings. When I pointed this out to her, she agreed, with a hint of reservation. I hope she thanked You. If she didn’t it is because we are conditioned to only appreciate the easy blessings. We glibly use the term, “blessing in disguise” but we don’t instantly apply it to the difficulties thrown across our paths. 

Only You, Lord, know what is truly best for us. We rant and rave and grieve over loss. We rail against hard times and sometimes foolishly, like children, we shake our fists at You, citing unfairness. We think because we are troubled that we have been forgotten. But when we allow ourselves to spend time being sad over a sharp turn our life has taken, are we being disrespectful of You and the faith we should have in Your plan for us? Could we but lift our eyes to thank You, would we more readily find the strength to overcome our grief when it has become a crutch or a stumbling block for our ability to move forward? Could our distress be turned to joy by merely exercising gratitude? Could it be that simple? If we choose to cling to our grief, when an opportunity for relief is provided, are we being willful? 

I understand that sometimes You chastise us for disobedience, just as any loving parent must. But even this is a blessing, is it not? We need to remember what love is and what it does do as well as what it isn’t and doesn’t do. It makes us feel good, to be sure, but it also holds our hand through the dark when we don’t know the way. It teaches us to grow and learn and trust the small voice that You use to speak to us. It doesn’t coddle us into believing You are a genie whom we can go to for only the good stuff in our lives. You love us even when we aren’t particularly loveable or when we reject or forget to use the tools You provide for us to make it through this hard knock life. 

Thank You, Father for loving us and for all our blessings, even the ones that hurt.

Your servant,

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