A moment in time. That's what yesterday was. I was driving along (back home from my weekly trip to the grocery store), and in that moment in time, I realized the blessings I had received from our Dear Lord during the previous week. I realized how those around me, family and friends, had also been richly blessed. It literally took my breath away. Have you ever experienced that moment when you realize that prayers - prayers you have been praying day over day, year over year, have been answered? That is the moment I experienced yesterday.
There are many areas I need to grow as a Christian - God is CERTAINLY not done with me yet - there is much I can and need to do to glorify his wonderful name. If I started making that list, well, we know where that would go. An area I am trying to improve upon is taking the time, each day, to give glory to God for all that He has done for me - that day. Taking moments throughout the day - not just at prayer time - to say, "Thank you God". Many times they are simple things (I do like the simple things in life). I might have received a kind word from someone, a smile, a thoughtful gesture, just when I needed one. Maybe it was relief of a concern. Maybe it was the beautiful sight I had seen - knowing all those things can only come from God. Take a moment with me. Think of something, today - so far today - that you can be thankful to God. Give our Lord a little glory, tell Him how wonderful He is and thank Him for your blessing. It is important for us to take the time.
Yesterday, though, was bigger than the small moments. It was a total realization that the recent goodness God bestowed on our family, on our friends, after months of praying was coming to fruition. It is hard to be patient for God's timing. In this world of instant gratification, it is difficult to continually pray for something, for many things, that just don't seem to be coming along. There is the answer to prayer that is "yes" (those are always fun, aren't they?). There is the answer to prayer that is "no" (disappointing, but we always realize that God has a bigger plan). Then there is the tough one, "wait" (don't know about you - but that one seems to be the hardest). Waiting can be a hard road, with many detours. When we are told to "wait" by God, if we are not patient, we tend to take things into our own hands. I know I have done this, with disastrous results. I have learned over the years that the "waiting", although difficult, is most fruitful. The gratification when God finally says "yes" or shares with you His greater and divine plan, there is nothing like that feeling.
Those are the times, my friends, we need to shout to the Lord, give him thanks and praise. I shouted out to God - the Holy Spirit working in me to say, "Hey Susan, give deep praises to the one who made this possible". God is Good. He gives to us when He knows we need it - not when we think we need it. God's timing has always amazed me. His rich and wonderful timing. Let's relish in this for a moment. Let's do it together. Think about life lately. Think about how you have been blessed by answered prayers. Praise be to God by whom all blessings flow!! Share in the peace that comes with all He does for us. As I worshipped this morning, I gave God my thanks - singing a little bit louder (I'm sure those around me really appreciated that), focusing a bit deeper, pondering the cross with greater reverence. Now, I need to do this ALL the time, for there is much to give thankful praises to each and every day.
I'm going to start working a bit harder on a few things. Yes, I will continue my journey of a simple "thank you" to God for all that is good. I will also continue my journey of thankful praises, glorified praises, to the one that gives us the light of the world, to the one that gives us salvation in Him.
It's hard to believe, but Lent does begin this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. As we spend the next six weeks reliving our Jesus' journey to the cross, may we do so with hearts filled with thanks and praise for the life He so graciously gave for us - so that we might live with Him in eternity. I pray that the Lenten season ahead brings us back to our simple faith, to a time where this world of ours is set aside, and we focus on all that Christ did for us. May we be thankful and give praise for our eternity with Him.
"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." (NIV) Psalm 103:2