Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (Don't write about the song) (04/16/15)
- TITLE: Unexpected or Unnoticed Blessings
By Ernest Yoder
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Acts 12:16, Ezekiel 34:26
When we think about counting blessings our minds are naturally drawn to the regular blessings, like food, clothing, and shelter. But let’s turn our attention to some blessings that our heavenly Father sometimes surprises us with and also those we do not readily think about because we take them for granted. These two passages illustrate both scenarios.
It is almost comical to see how the gathering of early Christians responded to the fact that God had indeed answered their prayer for Peter. We do not know the specifics of how they were praying for him but the answer from God was obviously a surprise to them.
In the Ezekiel passage the prophet is foretelling a time of regular rain showers and regular blessings depicted as showers. These are the kinds of blessings we tend to take for granted. And yet they are all sent by God from Whom comes all that is good.
Two months ago I underwent rotator cuff surgery. The damage was greater than the physician expected giving rise to a post surgery prognosis that was rather grim. We expected a lengthy recovery. But today, eight weeks later, I have healed considerably beyond expectations given the time frame. This gift of accelerated healing is an unexpected blessing and I give the great Healer praise and have come to a renewed appreciation of the prayers of family and friends. God surprised us.
I would like to go to real time. I am on our back porch typing this article. There is a wet land behind our home and the night air is alive with the vibrant sounds of nature common to spring time in South Georgia. All kinds of frogs and peepers are making their presence known. They are performing their God given duty challenging us to be surprised at what they are doing. This is life and life is from God and, if I may make a duh statement, life is alive, very alive. Too many people are not amazed at God’s creation. He is manifested in all that we see in nature.
It being night, I can hear more than I can see, at least outside the circle of the lamp light that is over my head. How often do we thank God for the peace that a country night (or a city night too) affords us? We have bodies that welcome the night. They wind down and eventually go to sleep. Unless, of course, we are pulling the night shift. (Yes, we need to thank God for the blessings those people provide us too.) Night time is an example of a blessing that we can take for granted. I suppose at first Adam and Eve were a little curious at the twenty four hour cycle of day and night. On the other hand, maybe not because everything was new to them. But I suspect they soon got so accustomed to the regular routine of blessings that they did what we find ourselves doing today. Taking blessings for granted. Night time may be like a regular shower Ezekiel was writing about, but it is a blessing.
We do well to stop once in a while and refresh our awareness of the things that we do not often think of as blessings. I’ve mentioned only a few. They in fact are numberless from the smallest detail to the expanse of the universe. From the physical to the spiritual. Unexpected or unnoticed blessings are definitely a part of our lives. They are bestowed by our loving Father who occasionally sends surprise blessings on one hand and then continues to sustain us with regular blessings on the other.
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