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Not Everyone Is Happy!

By Larry Geraldson    |   December 9, 2021

“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” 1 Ch 16: 8
As we approach the holiday season, I want to encourage you to count your blessings and take a moment to consider others, more than yourself.   All of us have family and friends or know of someone who has suffered devastating loss or excruciating pain this past year.  The holiday season will not be a joyous time for everyone.

As you journey through the corridors of memory, the joy, that should fill your heart, and should be the distinguishing mark of every Christian will be put to the test. We all know how to be thankful for the good things but have we learned how to be thankful for the tragic things? When we tell about God’s deeds, do we only mention the deeds that we classify as good?  Have we learned to see value in the anxiety of suffering? We can only realize suffering’s full value if we endure the hardship with grace. Have we learned to redeem our pain for His glory?  Do we see loss in every tragedy or do we draw upon the treasure that is concealed in these earthen vessels? As the weight of difficulty bears down on us, does it release frustration, anger, and bitterness or are we like the violet which sheds it fragrance on the heel that crushes it.

As we consider God's rich blessing upon us, I pray that our response will be more than an eschewal of all that is wrong and more than just a Pharisaical restatement like that of Luke 18:11, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are;…”  Rather, I hope that our prayer will be a renunciation of self-centeredness accented with deep concern for others, and a high appreciation for the heart of love that our Lord lived to demonstrate before us, and then died to give us, and rose to teach us. Difficulty and tragedy often serve as the pathway that lead me to trust Him. May our hearts beat with appreciation and gratitude so hard and so fast that when we think about what God has done for us, it will seem as if it will beat right out of our chest.  

A little bit of thinking about others quickly brings us to our knees. If you’re like me, you are truly humbled that God has blessed you so much, even if those blessings are painful.  I pray that each of you will have a wonderful holiday season.

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