Reflecting on the Seasons
I have been reflecting on the miracles of the season this week. Fall is finally looking like it might make an appearance while in the western part of the United States it looks like maybe Winter is coming. Seasons, whether fall, winter, spring, or summer all bring with them beautiful things. But there are many who also see the not so good things these seasons bring as well. For instance, people in the southern part of the United States have experienced unusually hot and dry weather that has lasted long past summer and into the fall season. This often gives reason to grump and complain longing for a break. But maybe when we experience the not so great things of life instead of becoming discouraged, complaining, or even diving into anger; we need to take time reflecting on the miracles that each season of life brings.
It is so easy to see the glory of God in nature. Whether you like one season over another, there is clear evidence of good things in each. The miraculous creations of God are clearly reflected in their beauty. These miracles are gifts that give us an understanding of God’s character. His care of nature is a sign of His love and provisions for all of us. His great generosity of giving is more than we need or deserve. But yet so often we focus on the negative or the things that we don’t like, quickly forgetting that there are good things that come from everything. Do we become so overwhelmed by the gifts of God that we simply forget to thank Him for the good things of life?
Dr. David Zersen, President Emeritus of Concordia University, tells a story of why some of us may seem more thankful than others. When he was a young father, he took his preschool children out on Halloween to go “trick-or-treating.” They wore their appropriate costumes and toddled to the front doors of homes while he stood back and watched. He noticed that after they bravely spit out their phrase, “trick-or-treat” and took the candy, they didn’t say thank you. So, it soon became the young father’s mission to not only explain that they needed to say thank you after receiving the gift of candy, but that they actually followed through with it.
After many attempts to encourage his children to demonstrate grateful behavior, he became frustrated until he reached an understanding. It became clear to Zersen that the children were far more overwhelmed with the notion that when a door opens in the darkness people with candy appear. The children were overwhelmed with the idea that they were being graced with an unwarranted gift that left them rather speechless.
It is clear that for gratitude to be recognized by the heart that a person is in a place or moment of understanding that their experience didn’t have to happen; they are receiving a pure gift of which they didn’t earn nor one they deserve. Sometimes this process can be overwhelming. Just like very young children receiving an unexpected gift of candy in the dark, for many of us, unexpected gifts granted by God are just as overwhelming. This is why it is important to spend time reflecting upon the miracles God brings to our lives. It is through this that we can adequately give our thanks to Him, recognizing that all good things come only from God.
Life is Good – Reflect Upon It
Not only is it important to reflect on the good things that God does for our individual lives, but it is as important to reflect upon the miraculous things seen in and through the life of the church. God provides the good things in life sometimes for no reason at all and other times through answered prayers. This is why it is important for both the individual and the church as a body of believers to praise and worship Him. Even in the midst of problems, God always provides the ultimate provision, as He offers all, life eternal. This overwhelming miraculous blessing is one that no one can ever remove from our life.
Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles He performs for people!Psalm 66:5 (NLT)
As this new season gets underway, we find ourselves in what is known as the harvest season. Whether you are a gardener, farmer, or just a person who enjoys the bounty of the season; we all should recognize that the harvest comes from extremely hard work and patience to keep going because of the hope and victory that it brings to everyone.
Creating a Reflecting List
Reflecting on the daily miracles of life takes practice and perseverance. It means we take the bad and look for the good. This lesson is clearly seen in the author, Daniel Defoe’s, fictitious character of Robinson Crusoe. The first thing that Crusoe did when he found himself stranded on a deserted island was to make out a list. On one side of the list, he wrote down all of his problems. On the other side of the list, he wrote down all of his blessings.
Therefore, his list looked something like this; On one side he wrote: I do not have any clothes. But on the other side, he wrote: It’s warm and I don’t need clothes. On the other side, he wrote: All of the provisions were lost. Yet, on the backside of the list, he wrote: But there’s plenty of fresh fruit and water on the island. So, down the list, he went in this manner as he discovered that for every negative aspect of his situation there was a positive one in which to be thankful.
This is a lesson that we should all take time to reflect upon in our lives. Many of us are faced with the unthinkable things of life but with the conscious effort of reflecting upon them, we can see the good and positive of the situation. It is very easy to find ourselves on an island of despair, but it is during these times that we need to sit and reflect upon our blessings and the miracles of life seen around us daily.
Experiencing the Miracles of Everyday
This practice takes great trust in Christ knowing that He will make good on His promises. He is always faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him, He stays by our side even in times when we think we have no faith left as we struggle to see and find the miracles. Knowing that Christ will never turn His back on us even when we refuse His help still remains a miracle.
So, today if you are finding yourself isolated in despair, look for the miracles around you reflecting carefully on what is there. Challenge yourself to reflect daily upon the good things that God provides for you. Even on your very worst day, there are miracles found if you reflect upon them. Root your convictions deeply knowing that God will never leave you for once you declare your faith in Christ you hold eternal life. Find your motivation in knowing that God cares for even the small things of nature, so He certainly cares much deeper for you, who He created in His likeness. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that God is all around you. Reflect by taking the time to commune with Him daily with whatever He provides you with whether sight, sound, touch, or smell for He is experienced in all ways and everywhere.
Love in Christ,
Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.Charles Dickens
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you take time daily reflecting on the miracles God brings to your life? Have you struggled on the island of despair because you felt blinded to the good of the day? Share your thoughts on the importance and benefits of how thanking God daily for His overwhelming goodness and the ability to see the miracles in your life not only shows your devotion to Him but in turn brings peace.