Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Isaiah 58-11

Guest Author: Joe Sam

People spend so much time continuing to search for more in life that they often forget or disregard all the things that God has already placed around them. Never satisfied with the abundance of blessings in our lives, we crave things that, to be honest, we don’t actually need. Take a second and try to identify the things you hold dearest to your heart. You may choose your family or your friends, or you may have picked some of your favorite belongings. Either way, let me ask you – when was the last time that you thanked God for that beloved thing in your life?

We often take for granted the things we care for the most. It is only when we lose them or see someone else who is longing for such a thing that we even bother to acknowledge the wonderful things that God has surrounded us with. Unfortunately, we sometimes never get around to appreciating the blessings around us until they are gone. It is in those moments of absence that our faith is truly tested and the pathway to our futures is paved.

These past few weeks have been filled with sorrow and pain with the passing of several of our loved ones. It seems like almost every time I turn around, I am informed of the death of a high school friend or of a brother in Christ. These events open our eyes to realize how temporary life is.

How would we react if this were a close family member or a very close friend to us? What would we do? With one of these recent deaths, a widow and her young child were left behind. What could God’s plan be for them? When considering these questions, I am reminded of a very similar story that occurred back in India.

A man, the sole provider of his family, suddenly died due to a heart attack while he was back home from working abroad to see his 6-month old son. He left behind his wife, his 13-year old daughter, and the baby boy. Why would this happen? How would the mom provide for her two children?

Rest assured, God DID lead and provide for this family, while especially using these faithful two women. Let me tell you a little more about them. The first woman was now a widowed mother. Even in the loss of her husband, she trusted that the God who had brought her thus far would continue to keep her. She never remarried because she didn’t want her children to ever feel neglected – instead she trusted in God to take care of her and her two kids. God had already made financial provisions for her; before the husband died he built a full, two-story house where the upper level was to be rented out. So for years God supported the mother and her children with the rent money, and when any other needs came up, He worked in the hearts of others so they wouldn’t forget the needs of the widow and her children. This continued even after the woman and her children moved to America once her children grew older. Thankfully, her daughter now took responsibility for her mother and 8-year old brother’s needs.

The mother’s faith was never disappointed. God met every last one of her family’s needs and wants, and drew her closer to Him day by day. The second woman of faith was the little 13-year-old girl who had to grow up fast, trust in the God that she knew from a young age, and have faith that He would take care of them since her daddy wasn’t there anymore. She worked hard and stayed focused, doing her part and trusting God to take care of the rest. She went to college full time, worked, and supported her mother and her very fast-growing, mischievous brother.

And when the time came for marriage, she trusted that the God who has been leading her would bring to her a man of God, who would understand her situation and help support her mother and brother. The God that she trusted of course provided her with the perfect man she needed, who had similar experiences within his family and was considerate of the need. God, however, didn’t stop there.

He also provided this couple with two of the most beautiful kids, a great job, and a house in a neighborhood the woman only ever dreamt of living in. God lead her by the hands from a crying little teenage girl to a mighty woman of faith who is living a life that very few would have been able to imagine for her 22 years ago.

I can’t tell you why the father had to pass away, but I can tell you that in his absence the Heavenly Father took care of the widow and her two children, so that they never lacked anything they needed or desired, even to this very day. See, the beauty in the chaos of life is that it only appears to be chaos to us mortal beings, who try to comprehend unexplainable things that are too wonderful for us to fathom. There is a sovereign God, seated on His throne above the universe, and not a single detail that occurs in our lives is chaos before Him, nor will it ever be.

Be thankful to God for every single person and every single good thing He has allowed to be in your life. Appreciate it like you could lose it forever in the blink of an eye, knowing that there are several people out there who aren’t privileged to have the blessings that you have. If it pleases the Lord to take those blessings away, then trust in the God who blessed you to begin with, and He will bless you even more abundantly, according to His perfect will.

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