Ordinary Blessings; November 28, 2022

Luke 1:14 “He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth.”

We have the record of the fulfillment of the last part of this verse in verse 58 of this very chapter, but aside from the factor of the mo­therhood of a previously barren woman, this seems like a very pedestrian prophecy, one that any thinking person could have spoken. The thing is, God is interested in all the ordinary things of life as well as the things that stand out to us. He planned the joy of parents in their children, which we often see in animals as well. We are not to take any of His blessing lightly or for granted, but give Him the gratitude and praise He deserves. In modern society, more and more luxury is being seen as ordinary, and we lose our gratitude for it. That is dangerous on many levels. Many people have noticed the current tragedy of the “entitlement generation,” who don’t appreciate the good things they already have and expect – demand – that ever more be given to them, with no sign of satiety. That’s a sad situation indeed. We need to be aware of just how much we are blessed already, and reject resentment and every other negative emotion. “Mindfulness” is a current buzzword, and we definitely need to be mindful of God’s grace and blessings to us.

I’m in training in this area at this very moment, but then I think just about everyone is. My wife is scheduled to get out of the hospital today after a 2-month stay for back surgery and then a subsequent infection. I need to be properly focused on the positives and not be anxious about potential negatives. We are blessed to have our two daughters here from the US, though the older one will be returning on Thursday. Deviations from normal routine are the order of the day, and I’m not to let that factor rob me of either peace or joy. My own body is talking to me in various ways that aren’t always pleasant, but I’m not to allow that to mask the greatness of God’s grace toward me. The schedule for the next month is packed, and the older I get the less I enjoy that. I am not to run away from such things, but remember that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Father, thank You for this clear reminder. I’m probably going to need it several times over the next month or so! Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, just as You have told me to do, so that all of Your plans for me may be fulfilled on Your schedule for 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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