We had a bit of a windstorm yesterday. When I arrived home from work, I saw that my neighbors had lost their tree in the front yard. Toppled over from ground level. Then, when I went inside and looked out my south window, I saw that I, too, had lost half of my tree on that side of the house. I rather wished I’d been home to hear the CRACK it must have made.
The power of the wind was very impressive in felling these two trees. I posted pictures on Facebook and then, God taught me a lesson. Comment after comment from my friends gave thanks to God that the tree had not fallen on my house. That I had not been home and been injured. That no damage or injuries, other than the loss of the tree, had occurred.
My friends reminded me of the things for which I should have immediately thanked God. What I neglected to consider as I processed the loss of trees, they did not neglect. I was surprised as I realized – I took God for granted. I had to be reminded to feel grateful. I had to be reminded to say thank you. I had become comfortable with life, or distracted by life, and missed the blessings of God’s protection. “Lord, make my spirit more aware of the things You do for me daily and make my heart grateful for Your care for me.”
I believe we often have the same attitude with people whom God sends into our lives to bless us. We take our friends for granted. They’ve always been there and we expect them to keep encouraging us. The same can be true of our pastors and their wives. I mean, after all, it’s their job to do things for us. We pay them to be our encouragers and teachers. How many little things have your pastor and his wife done for you for which you did not say thank you? Things which you took for granted?
I can tell you right now that your pastor probably isn’t paid enough for all that he and his family do for the church. On call 24/7. Trips to help families in the middle of the night. Praying for, counseling, and encouraging people going through the hardest struggles of life. All this while encouraging others to grow in faith, teaching, and caring for everyone in the church family. Theirs is a heavy load.
You can lighten that load today simply by being aware of their burden and praying for them and saying thank you. “Lord, help us stop taking for granted the shepherd You sent to our church. Open our eyes to see how we can help and encourage him and his family. Thank You for them, Father, as they are gifts from Your hands. Forgive us for taking them and Your blessings for granted.”
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