Gratitude / Light & Laughter

Honor Your Blessings

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Early in 2020, I injured my foot. I wouldn’t be healed for almost a year. The injury limited my mobility at a time when I needed to put greater emphasis on my health. The length of time it was taking for my foot to be fully healed was frustrating, even to my doctor. After several appointments and by a small miracle, my foot was finally healed. Even my doctor seemed surprised; he exclaimed that it could have only happened by God’s grace. After that, I started working out… a lot. No matter the temperatures outside or how tired I was, I kept going. Why? Because I knew God answered my prayers, and I felt this intense need to honor my blessing. I wanted to make sure I respected His mercy and His compassion.

Before the Blessing

If we take a moment, however, to look at the months leading up to that moment, the energy wasn’t always so bright. There were many days when I felt frustrated and disappointed. On other days, I decided to push through the pain. I always, however, wanted resolution; I was exhausted by the discomfort. And we’ve all been there – when we feel as though we’ve been in a season for too long and we’re ready to break free. Perseverance is a tough lesson to learn and yet God requires that we keep pushing forward. In Romans 5:3-4 we read:

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Embracing perseverance requires us to push back against uncertainty. Doubt is a painful reminder of the fragility in our humanity, and time is one of its greatest breeding grounds. As time passes, we being to question the validity of our requests, and the sureness that God will respond. It’s important to never doubt that God will respond – He always does. It’s His answer that can be difficult to process. And so, we must keep praying, keep asking, and keeping be patient. Along the way, we must open ourselves up to listening and learning. Just know that no matter the answer, God always has us covered.

After the blessing

When God responds in a way that we like, we’re often happy. The feeling of joy may be for a moment or much longer. No matter the length of time, we should fully embrace the spirit of gratitude. True gratitude extends beyond a moment or a situation. We don’t just thank God for what He has done for us; we take that positive energy and pass it on to others. Through our actions, we become witnesses.  Sharing our testimonies is one way to show others God’s spirit of love, mercy, and compassion.

King Hezekiah – The Warning for Us

Yet there are times when we quickly forget the role God has played in our lives. The scriptures give us insight into the ramifications of this through the story of King Hezekiah (amongst others). This king was sick and near death (Isaiah 38). He prayed to the Lord for healing, and God heard his request. God blessed King Hezekiah with 15 more years to live. The Babylonians, having heard of this miracle, wanted to visit with King Hezekiah (Isaiah 39) and learn more. When they arrived, King Hezekiah decided to use the time to show off his wealth. He forgot the source of his good fortune… He forgot about God.

Ultimately, it would be the King’s people that would suffer for his misguided decision. King Hezekiah didn’t care, however, since God’s punishment would take place after his death. It seems unfair, doesn’t it, that King Hezekiah was the person who did not honor God’s blessing, yet it would be his people that felt the consequences. Yet, that is life. This story reminds us that we are all interconnected on this journey. Our decisions do not happen in silos. Knowingly or unknowingly, we impact others for better, or worse.

Nevertheless, I am thankful for the Bible showing us flawed people. We can see the impact of decisions and learn from the journeys of others. No matter the circumstances, I pray that we all find gratitude and humility in God’s blessings. If we draw closer to God, His Spirit will be revealed within us. Before the blessings may be tough but hold tight. When we are willing, God will always shine down upon us and show us His way.

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