January 25 – Fueled By Gratitude

 

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Take a moment and recall an event in your past that could have destroyed your life. Most likely you had some ownership in the matter, but found yourself out of control.   What a scary place to be!

One such occasion comes to mind for me. I was barely sixteen. It was the summer of ‘86 and my buddy Greg had just got his new wheels. His dad had restored a late model Mustang and it was “sweeter than candy.”

So on a Sunday evening after church Greg took me and two other friends joy-riding. After playing some video games we headed home. As we crossed over the overpass and approached the turn-on ramp Greg lost control of the car. Because of our excessive speed, the car went air-born, flipped, and rolled into oncoming traffic on I-35!

It happened around 8:00 pm and traffic was thick, but no one hit us. The three passengers (including me) came away from the wreck unhurt. But Greg went to the hospital that night, unconscious. He suffered several injuries to his neck and head but thankfully he survived the tragic event.

For all practical purposes, all four of us got a second chance on life. We didn’t know it then, but now it’s very evident that there are many people who would have been directly affected by our demise.

Now that’s quite a serious example, but that’s what gratefulness is really all about. It means always being ready to count your blessings. It’s recognizing that things could be a whole lot worse and making the very best of the life you have right now.

To drive this home, take a look at this idea from a God-perspective out of the Message Bible: We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.   Ephesians 2:3-6

 God is ultimately the One who is responsible for all the blessings we enjoy. So, our daily thanksgiving is a necessary part of healthy living. “Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you!”

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