Radical Gratitude

You all may have heard the story of Job from the Bible. Job lost everything in one day. Family, property, everything gone, just like that. I have read it, but missed Job’s reaction to his personal loss, and grief that he experienced in a day’s time. Losing all of your property is a terrible thought. Losing all of your children in one day, is grief beyond my imaginings. The thought of losing a child is enough to bring you to tears, and if you’ve experienced this, you know the hurt and the brokeness. Shortly after this, during his time of grief, he was afflicted head to toe with oozing boils, incredible pain! As I read this in the past, I thought how terrible! Why did You allow this God?
Upon receiving the news, here’s what Job did:  Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head: and he fell to the ground…and WORSHIPPED! And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.” In all of this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (NKJV) Seriously? I don’t know that I could have done that. I can say, I want to aspire to having that attitude, reacting to trouble full of confidence in God. And to worship, to give God glory in affliction…how powerful!
His wife’s reaction was to tell Job to curse God and die. Her reaction is the reaction of our world today. Give up on your foolish religion, God, if he exists, certainly don’t care for us. Get rid of every thought of God, is the plan of God’s enemy, and all of those who hate Him in our world today. Job said to his wife….even if God kills me, I will trust Him!
I have witnessed many people enter into recovery meetings, beaten down by their life of personal abuse, living as alcoholics and drug addicts. None of these, including myself, came with adoration of God, or praise on our lips. Most all came kicking and screaming, pointing blame at everyone except ourselves. It took us time to be thankful. I can honestly say, I am grateful to be an alcoholic. God took my sinful past and replaced it with purpose, giving myself and countless others a reason to live.
Are you thankful, really thankful? Half of the world’s population don’t have electricity, and live off of less than $2.00 per day. If their children are born with sickness or deformities, that’s how they live and die. Be thankful, live in gratitude, show it by your life of giving, and in service. Take time on your knees, in surrender and in deep appreciation for all you have. Another thing you can be grateful for is; you have Someone to be grateful to. Many think we’re to be grateful to the spirits of the natives, grateful to our ancestry long dead and buried, and to some, the universe, that believe how Carl Sagan put it, “seem to know we were coming,” giving the universe motherly properties, conscious, and living.
In 1871, Horatio Spafford lost a fortune from the great fire in Chicago. His only son had died from scarlet fever. Later on he was in New York waiting on the arrival of his wife and 4 daughters. He received a telegram from his wife that read, “saved alone.” His 4 daughters, along with 222 others had perished while en route to New York, drowned when their ferry-boat sank. Imagine, all gone. Yet, he was steadfast in his love for God. He later wrote these words.
When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well! It is well! With my soul.
This is one of the great hymns of all time. I don’t know about you, for me, it is well! God bless and keep you all, God make His face to shine on you. God lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Keith

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