“Your clothes did not wear out
and your feet did not swell during these forty years.”
Deuteronomy 8:4 (NIV)
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV)
I grew up in a home where there was domestic peace and love. Yet as a young child I complained about having to wear my older brother’s hand me downs and other evidences of our financially modest home life. As children we were embarrassed at the fact our family car was by far the oldest on the street.
My father was not a man to argue with his children about what we did have and how we should be satisfied with the good things we had. But one day his patience with us reached its limit. Our complaining about our family poverty got to him. Quietly he called us all to get into the 1930 Buick our family car and he took us on a short trip into the poorest sections of Toronto.
As we passed by shacks with old cars and trailers or other junk parked on the front lawns he pointed to one after another and said, “Some people call that house ‘home’.” We went down street after street of the tar-papered houses and saw how some people lived. Then he drove us home and encouraged us to remember what we saw.
In the passage today we read of the Lord teaching His people to count their blessings over the preceding forty years of their wilderness journey. Yes, their diet was as simple as could be but it still keep them physically healthy. They did not enjoy the delicacies others had on their dinner tables but their provision was all that was necessary.
God told them to reflect on the previous decades and see places where He made the needed provision for them as they journeyed on following His guiding cloud by day and as they rested under His fiery pillar at night. They needed to be thankful for what they had and not be complaining about what they lacked.
It is so true for us today that we need to count up our blessings and not focus our attention on things we would like to have but do not. Satan would urge us to long for the luxuries of life or even for something just a little better than we have.
Take a few minutes today to count your blessings. Consider the good things you do have and pray to the Lord for a thankful heart to rejoice in what you possess. Ask your loving heavenly Father to rid your heart of the sin of ingratitude.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…And be thankful.”
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)