Recognizing God; July 7, 2020

Hosea 11:3 “It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.”

This sad commentary is something I’m afraid the Lord has to say about a lot of people today. He is incredibly gracious and loving, but we take it for granted or don’t recognize it at all. We will never know how much, but I think a very great deal of human suffering would be, or would have been, avoided if we would simply have recognized where our blessings came from. Often it takes disasters for us to realize how good we have had it up until that point. The world is still struggling with the pandemic, and America is in the throes of political unrest, and the town where I live has just had landslides and flooding. All of those undesirable things should make us aware how good things are normally. A lot of complaining comes from a lack of perspective. That’s why a parent’s, “Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about,” is actually good parenting. If children always have everything as they want it, they will end up with zero maturity and self-control. At the very least, when hard times come we should be grateful that things aren’t like that all the time!

I’ve done my share of grousing at God, but it’s been many years now since I realized that no matter how bad things might seem, they could always be worse. Again I’m reminded of Andrae Crouch’s song, Through It All. As it says, “So I’ll thank Him for the mountains, and I’ll thank Him for the valleys, and I’ll thank Him for the times He’s brought me through. For if I’d never had a problem I wouldn’t know that He can solve them, I wouldn’t know what faith in God can do.” I subscribe to the Persecution newsletter to better know how to pray for my brothers and sisters around the world, and it lets me know I have nothing to complain about! As soon as I take my eyes off of myself I am filled with gratitude for the grace and mercy of God, and that is a blessed way to live indeed.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I had a largely sleepless night last night, but in the process You showed me some things to do and how to do them. I ask You to guide my words and actions so that others may more accurately recognize what You are saying to them, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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