— Read this! It’s the best part of this post! —
“The gospel reminds me first that what I actually deserve from God is a full cup churning with the torments of His wrath (Revelation 14:10; Psalm 75:8). This is a cup that would be mine to drink if I were given what I deserve each day. With this understanding in mind, I see that to be handed a completely empty cup from God would be cause enough for infinite gratitude. If there were merely the tiniest drop of blessing contained in that otherwise empty cup, I should be blown away by the unbelievable kindness of God toward me. That God, in fact, has given me a cup (Psalm 116:12-13; 23:5) that is full of “every spiritual blessing in Christ,” (Ephesians 1:3) and this without the slightest admixture of wrath, leaves me truly dumbfounded with inexpressible joy. As for my specific earthly circumstances of plenty or want, I can see them always as infinite improvements on the hell I deserve.”
– excerpt from A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love (pp. 47-48) by Milton Vincent
Daddy – he’s in my life, and of vital influence/counsel, while many have no father in their lives
Mommy – she’s an example of a content stay-at-home mom
Paul Stefan – he’s a good example (and friend!)
Peter – he’s a gift from God, a tool of sanctification in my life, and I can’t wait to see what God will do in and through him!
extended family – we have contact with them, and they care about each other and us
church family – they have been given the grace of God to function as a fellowship should, and have welcomed us wholeheartedly into the congregation
elders/preachers/teachers – much of the world is isolated from such rich Bible exposition
friends my age – spur me on in the path God has called me to, and provide opportunities to spur others on
friends not my age – spur me on to greater maturity and teach me to be sociable
neighbors – they are kind and watch out for each other
my parents’ friends – they enjoy hearing about our whole family, and I have been able to get to know some of them
my facebook friends – some I know well, and some I don’t really know, but all are blessings!
my room – I have more privacy than most of the world’s population
my family’s house – most of the world is not privileged with owning a nice dwelling
my violin – a tool to earn income and be a blessing to others
my laptop – a tool to bless others, develop skills, and earn income
my camera – a tool to serve others and capture memories
my iPhone – a tool to keep in touch with others, save space, and organize my life 🙂
my Bible – (why in the world did I not think of this first!) many Christians (especially persecuted ones) value this book more than I do, and find their entire sustenance in it’s pages. I am blessed beyond measure even if I were to lose every other earthly possession because I have THE Word of God to read. Do I treasure it as I should? Because someday I may in a very practical sense find that nothing else matters…and this is how I should live even now.
my journals – some people do not have the ability to think coherent thoughts or write them down on paper
books – some have no reading material, and 50% of the world cannot read…thank God for parents who taught me to read…it is no small thing.
ironing boards and irons – make life easier
furniture – makes life easier
clothing – some people have only one pair, while I have a closet full
intact limbs – while I know of instances where God works powerfully through those who are disabled, I am very grateful that I am physically whole. It’s challenging to compare my enthusiasm with that of people like Joni Eareckson Tada and Nick Vujicic
5 senses – God could have chosen to handicap me physically in some way, but He didn’t. I certainly deserve nothing good, but He has been bountifully generous in His gifts.
my life – few are blessed with such a diverse life, but for some reason God chose to give such a life to me. No doubt He has a reason, and I am grateful for His equipping for whatever that reason is.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and what really matters is not whether I can compile a list of thankfulness, but whether I can joyfully trust God in plenty or want, happiness or sorrow…this is a goal for all of life, not something that can be determined at a specific time of year.