Every now and then we all need a good dose of “perspective”. A few days ago I was preparing a message from an intriguing story in 2 Kings 7. It is the story of 4 lepers sitting at the city gate of Samaria. Surrounding the city is the Aramean army and rather than fight they decide to just cut off the supply lines to the city and starve them into submission. There is a severe famine inside the city and the enemy outside the city. A donkey’s head (one of the least nourishing and most repulsive parts of the animal and considered unclean by the Jews) sold for 80 shekels which was 2 pounds of silver. A half pint of seed pods sold for 5 shekels… 2 ounces of silver.
Then, it hit me. That occasional moment of lucid clarity. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty and moaning in our world today – our government, the economy, international tensions. And, certainly these are tough times and many people are suffering. BUT… compared to these 4 guys in 2 Kings, every person I know (especially me) is lavishly blessed.
These guys were social outcasts… homeless… jobless. They only ate when people occasionally threw them scraps. And, now there is NO food anywhere to be found. They live under the eminent threat of attack from their enemies. And, they have a painful disease that causes your flesh to rot off your bones.
Let’s do a little exercise together…
If you have a place to live… YOU ARE BLESSED
If you have somebody who loves you… YOU ARE BLESSED
If you have clothes in your closet… YOU ARE BLESSED
If you have a job… YOU ARE BLESSED
If you ate yesterday… YOU ARE BLESSED
If you will eat today… YOU ARE BLESSED
If you DON’T have leprosy like the guys in this story… YOU ARE BLESSED
I am blessed. I have a place to live. I have friends and family who love me. I have good health. And, for most of us, we have NEVER had to wonder if there is food to eat today.
In Colossians 2:7 there is a mandate that is given to all Christ followers…
“. . . Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.“
Gratitude is what you choose to see.
Here is my question for you.
What would it look like for you to be a person whose life spills over (overflows) with gratitude?
Over the last 30 days, if you were to give yourself a gratitude grade, what would it be? Better yet, if your spouse or close friend were to give you a grade for gratitude in your life, what do you think it would be? Would they say that your life overflows with gratitude? Or would you be marked more by complaining and grumbling?
The last few days I have been trying to practice the words of Hebrews 13:5-6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
WE ARE BLESSED.