[CF Devotionals] 2007-11-24 - Thanksgiving II

It is easy to lose sight of the blessings we do have. It's been a long year. There are some serious personal struggles in my life. There have been some critical challenges at work. Additionally, I have lost three friends - one to cancer, one to a long-term illness and the other is a mystery. One of my very best friends lost her husband this year to cancer, and has struggled with her own health and her job.

Even through all of this, I have that close circle of friends who are like brothers and sisters who care for me and are praying and supporting me. I have my health and a good job. Everyone here is well and doing good to well in school or at work in spite of the challenges. I have a warm home and two working cars. My mother is recovering from breast cancer and doing well. My relationship with my parents is as good as it has been in many years. We have food on the table, clothes on our backs, and shoes on our feet. We have working computers and appliances that we take quite often for granted. They are always there, but they don't have to be. We have two wonderful little kittens who often careen through the house. My friend still has her son, and we have our friendship in the midst her storm. The list could go on.

Though the struggles that I do come up against cloud my vision from time to time and the pressures of life crush in on every side, the God who spoke the universe into being knows exactly who I am, what I need and He loves me more than I can understand. As a parent, I may be able to being to touch the fullness of that caring. But I will never plumb the full depth of the relationship while I wear this mortal flesh. This alone is the core. All of the other things hang on this one central thought. Without it, the other blessings are isolated items floating around disconnected. There are times when the pain and valleys of this life obscure the view of this love. But it is always there just the same.

Do your own list and take a little time to do it. The tangible things are not always as easy as it seems. That stove is always there and always works. Then move to the less tangible items - the love and health of yourself and your family and friends are easy to recall. Reach deeper - God reached down and chose you. And while your reaching remember that all of these things, all these good things, come from one source that has very little to do with our own efforts.

Pray for the people in Bangladesh and be thankful you live away from the devastation and think of how you might be able to be a blessing to these people who are in dire need. Pray for them if that is all you can do as many would say. Those prayers are far far more powerful than the world around us realizes - unleashing the power of the Kingdom of Heaven. See them with the urgency of eternity reaching out to all of us. Pray - and tell them about this Jesus that reached out to you, and how He will do the same for them.

Lord - help us to remember to see You in our blessings and our struggles. Keep us mindful of Your control and Your deep, gracious and merciful care for each of us. The same sun and rain fall on sinner and saint alike. Open our eyes to avenues to bless others. Amen.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com