I often take many things for granted. In fact, this past week, as I’ve been sick on my couch with the not-so-pleasant cough/cold/congestion combination that’s been going around, I’ve complained about many things. Being physically sick heightens my negativity, as I become critical of everything around me and in me. According to the four humours temperament theory, my primary disposition would probably be melancholic. And the extended time in isolated introspection sometimes leads me to a downward spiral of despair.
So I went to church today in an attitude of ingratitude and complaint. I told God during the few moments of silence at the beginning of the service that I wasn’t feeling very well and my heart was not in a very worshipful state. Even as I played the piano for service, which I normally enjoy, I felt quite distracted. Yet, through the service, I felt glimpses of God’s goodness. From friends who came and sat next to me, and gave me hugs in the midst of my sickness to those who prepared a delicious Thanksgiving feast after the service, I’m reminded once again of the goodness of God through the family of God.
During the time of testimony, as various people from the congregation shared what they were thankful for, I was encouraged by the many blessings that God has given to us. Sharing blessings in a corporate setting is so helpful in seeing the good things God is doing in the community, and I was again reminded of God’s faithfulness. From seeing the spiritual blessings of salvation, God’s grace and presence with us, to the tangible blessings of good food and material things, to the relational blessings of community, there is so much to thank God for.
Thinking about those affected by the typhoon, also reminded me of how much food, running water, and homes are such blessings and things I often take for granted. In looking at the news reports about the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda), I’m encouraged by the way people are starting to clean debris and rebuild. While there’s still so much destruction and devastation, which seems so overwhelming, people are picking up, and doing what they can. It’s inspiring to see how resilient the human spirit can be in the aftermath of such a devastating natural disaster. There are images of kids playing and singing in the streets, amidst the ruins. Even in the hardship, there are glimpses of joy, and it amazes me to see their perseverance and strength. Seeing their resilience in the midst of such devastation, also humbles me and helps me put my own problems in perspective. Developing a thankful heart is a process that I’m continually learning.
What are you thankful for this week?