Don’t Miss the Blessings  

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Don’t Miss the Blessings
by Sarah Forbes

Sore and tired. Worn from continued sickness. Wearied by chronic illness. I awoke this morning with a clear recollection of what God had been trying to teach me. My heart knew. But I was not a willing pupil. He whispered again today, Don’t miss My blessings. Sitting here in pain. Crying. Listening to praise songs. Trying to encourage myself. Seeking to lift my own spirit. I hear my children. Happily at play. In harmony together. Pounding small rocks on the patio. To a rhythm. Singing joyfully. Contentedly. And again I hear The Voice, Don’t miss My blessings.
Overwhelmed. Indecisive. Feeling guilty about what I should be doing. Wondering what I possibly can do in such pain. Procrastinating because of my sinful self. I would rather wallow in self-pity and misery. Rather that, than showering and facing the day. Which might make me feel better. My sinful self doesn’t want to feel better. Conviction strikes me heart. And again I hear His voice, Don’t miss My blessings I rise. I choke on tears. I shower. I sing what my heart feels. I comfort myself with verses. Scriptures hid in my heart long ago. I see my children's smiling faces. I choose to focus on their smiles. The happy smiles of my children. I choose to laugh and joke. I choose to not see the unhappy things. I find strength to face my day. He is my strength.
It’s not long. Not long until I forget Him. Forget to rely on Him. Forget to focus on Him. I lose sight of who I am in Him. I stop looking at Him. Stop trusting in Him to be my strength. My flesh is weak. I am drawn away from Him.
Bored little boys in a checkout line. Waiting. Hungry. Annoying me. Little things that annoy easily. Requests. Repeated by excited children. I snap. I should have held my tongue. But I did not. My sinful heart says “Go away.” “Leave me alone.” “I have no more to give.” “I don’t WANT to give anymore.” “See me? I hurt. I bleed. I can’t give when I hurt so much.” And I remember my Lord. And I am ashamed. He bled. He gave. He gave all. He asks no less of me.
Getting dinner. Busy, impatient children. Spilling, toppling food. Messes. And more messes. On top of already-uncleaned messes. Anger. Boiling up inside me. “Why can’t I ever get it right?” “Why can't it be pretty?” “Why can’t it be perfect?” I know I am prideful. That’s what craves the perfection. It’s my sinful pride. And again I hear the Still Small Voice,
Don’t miss My blessings. And I pray. My mind searches for the thanksgiving. For something to be thankful for. I remember from before... this could change my heart-attitude. Selfish anger fights against the joy that could be. All I must do is choose to be thankful. If I’d only choose to be thankful. And I pray some more. I hear the patient Voice still repeating, Don't miss My blessings.
My family happily munches dinner. I close my eyes and I pray. I pray away my bitterness. Bitterness that life has not been what I wished it to be. What I planned it to be. Through my prayers, my heart chooses joy. I seek a renewing of my mind. A centering of myself in Christ. Things that before were irritation, transform.
I find myself thankful. Thankful for the spills. Thankful that I have children to make spills. Thankful I have food to be spilled. Thankful I have eyes to see the spills. Hands to clean the spills. Thankful I have children with willing hearts ready to help tidy up messes.
Thankful --even that I have sickness. Sickness to make my heart tender. Thankful that I have learned to give others understanding. Understanding and grace. I realise that the pain and sickness has changed me. It is still changing me. It is making me more like the One I Hold Most Dear. It is the crucible, the Refiner’s fire my Lord has chosen to purify me. And I have disdained it. Despised it.
Not understanding, I let the anger, and the bitterness, keep me from seeing the blessings. Blessings poured out from Heaven. All around me. My heart sees no pain now-- only joy. And I hear a Voice,
See. See My blessings._____________________
Hebrews 12: 5-12 (NASB)
“...and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

        ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
        Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
        For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
        And He scourges every son whom He receives.’
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

A Thousand Days of Praise: Day 71  

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141, for unexpected blessings that come in the midst of trials

reflection on what God is teaching me today:

Blessings are like buried treasures hidden among the trials of everyday life.Don't let anger, frustration, or bitterness keep you from finding God's blessings.

I'd hate to miss God's blessings because  I was too busy pouting that He hadn't given me exactly what I wanted, how I wanted and in the way I wanted... If I act that way I start sounding like a spoiled little child, rather than the maturing, fruitful Christian that I so yearn to be.

A Thousand Days of Praise: Day 70  

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138. that God is patient with me, despite my shortcomings.
139. that He is tollerent of m whining, complaining, and feeling sorry for myself.
140. that He doesn't give up on me even when I am unwilling to learn the life-lesson He has for me.

A Thousand Days of Praise: Day 69  

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137 that God sees the storm from the other side