The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"To Gratefully Ponder"
"Yes, you can put that down, pick it back up, and get out of here!"
Mrs. Jones (not her real name) sought to put me in my place last week as I arrived at a local retirement community where we conduct services, and where she lives as a resident. She referred to my guitar case I had set on a table and began to open. I smiled at her, and responded, "Mrs. Jones, we're going to sing some hymns and I'll need my guitar for some accompaniment. So get ready!" She looked at me a little less skeptically, and I am glad to say by the end of the service, she seemed completely on board with the prayers, sermon, and music. She even came close to smiling a few times!
Mrs. Jones and I actually go way back. I had not seen her since the Covid pandemic began. We began doing services again several months ago at the facility, and this was her first meeting back with us. She hasn't changed, in contrast to so much that has changed in the places where we conduct services. We've lost a lot of people dear to us, and the ravages of a year in solitude and confinement line the faces of many dears ones who remain. People in nursing care facilities were isolated in their rooms for many months, seeing no one and allowed no visitors. In one of the places where we conduct services, we are still the only ministry allowed in. Things are better, but it remains heartbreaking to ponder what the residents of the facilities have experienced. So, to once again hear Mrs. Jones' acerbic forthrightness seemed like a blessing. I took it as such and felt a real joy in the moment.
The old adage is true that we don't appreciate enough what we have until we have lost it. This constitutes a primary reason our Heavenly Father calls us to a life of consistent and growing thanksgiving.
"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:18).
We need to frequently still ourselves to gratefully ponder our Father's gifts made possible through the Lord Jesus. We also need to give thanks as we journey through life, expressing our appreciation when and as His blessings arrive. This will not completely fill our gratitude quota. That is not possible. However, at the end of our lifetime, we will want to have at least attempted to express the aforementioned consistent and growing thanksgiving. I feel such a deficit in this regard. The last year has certainly confirmed how right I am. So, I am glad for Mrs. Jones' pithy directive. It made me appreciate more our opportunity to be back with her and others we missed for what seemed like a long, long time. It was. May it never happen again, and may the losses and sorrows of the last year press us to give thanks for blessings we must not take for granted.
"So we Thy people and sheep of Thy pasture will give Thee thanks forever."
"Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit."