I woke this morning with thoughts of my family. As I lay in bed I found myself praying for them. They all have needs that need bringing to God: Nick training for ministry while he and his wife Anna manage life around the demands of work, ministerial training, and a challenging five-year old son. Michael with his commuting to and from another city for work, then being a single dad all weekend. James and Katy moving into their first home, having rented for the first couple of years of their marriage. Beth who is constantly on the road serving with the Youth for Christ Nomad team. And finally John – sixteen years old, the only one still at home, and without a clue of what he wants to do other than play sport and watch movies.
As I was praying God reminded me of words He had spoken to me about my children in the past, John in particular. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God for my family. I can’t believe that He even considered entrusting so many children to Marilyn and myself, but He did. We have had to learn about parenting (and grand-parenting) on-the-job, so to speak, but one thing I do know is that despite the challenges (and there have been a few) we both consider ourselves enormously blessed by our family.
And then it hit me. I don’t say thank you to God enough. I take Him for granted. I know He is there, I know that He loves me, I know that Jesus died for me, and I know that the Holy Spirit is there to guide, teach and watch over me. I just don’t say thank you enough. Do you remember the chorus to the hymn that reminded us to ‘count our blessings one by one?’ We don’t seem to sing that hymn anymore, and most of us have forgotten all about counting our blessings and thanking God.
My first thought this morning could have been to complain. I have had a rough night again with an unpleasant cold and cough. It is cold outside, and although the heating came on at the usual time it had barely taken the chill off the house. Early morning thoughts of my family that turned to gratitude to God made me take a second look. It might be cold outside, but it is beautiful. And it isn’t raining – ask the good folk who live in Eglwyswrw about the rain! The house might be a little chilly, but I have central heating. Our family does not have to stay huddled around a fire in one room to stay warm. I’m not happy about the cold and cough but it is going. Hot lemon and honey is finally doing the trick. And the more I think about it the more I realize just how much I have to thank God for. I need to say thank you more.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever (Psalm 136:1 NLT).
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