Why do I begin my post this way? To show how extremely pampered I am! What are my thoughts during this twice a week escapade?
“It's so early I'm a morning guy but I have to do Latin this early and it just plain stinks.”
“Computer! Why are you so slow!”
“I wish I had hi-speed internet...”
Is this right? What should I be saying? How about this-
“Wow God, I don't have to miss class because I have an alarm. Thank you so much!”
“Lord, I have running water this morning and a nice warm robe to wear.”
“Thank you God for allowing my parents to let me have a computer and internet that works amazing for what I need!”
But do I? Indeed I find it extremely difficult to find what it is in life that I can be thankful for. I have so much, even just compared to some of my friends. Not to mention those young men my age in Africa, or China, or even just as close as Downtown Portland. What did they do last night and this morning? Did they get into a nice warm bed, plug in their iPod and loose themselves to music and peaceful slumber? To them, my world would be heaven. My world is what they wish and hope for each and every day. Yet, I sit back and complain. We want more, we think it's not fair when other people have the game you want, or other people have the schedule you want, when other people have things that we want. But let me ask you this, who is happier? I don't know about you but I am a pretty happy person a lot, yet at the same time I'm not too happy when just the slightest thing happens in my life. I see pictures of young men in Africa, they have barely any clothes on their backs, they don't know if they will get even the smallest morsel of food for dinner, yet in the pictures don't they look so happy! Their smiles are so radiant!
If one studies up on the well known Baroque composer J.S. Bach he or she would find that his life was truly one that was harsh. I was talking to my piano teacher about his life and she told me some very interesting facts. First and foremost (part of this I knew) he had from 20-23 children in his family. It ranged because no historian can agree on a number. So we will say 21. Now, one might say, “My word that's a lot of kids!” Well, it wasn't. Here's why, all but three or four of them died before the age of 5! We think that we have it bad. Imagine being a father and seeing 18 of your children die before your very eyes! Not only this but his first wife died as well. At one point in his life he was the music writer for three churches, taught piano, and directed the church choirs. Today this might seem like a lot, but not near as much as it really was. You see, in today's society someone who is well-versed enough could lead worship on decently short notice, just grab the hymn book or worship chorus notebook and read it through a few times. Is that what Bach could do? No! He had to compose, by hand, every single note that was played, or sung for EACH church service. HE had to write out EACH part for the choir, EACH part for the orchestra. And he only had a week to do it in. While taking care of a family and teaching piano to many students. I teach piano and I think it hard to look for music for my students. But Bach, what did he have to do? He had to write music for his students! We really do have it so easy!
Job 2:3-8 And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason." Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face." And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.
That sounds really nice doesn't it? To have sores from the bottom of your feet to the top of you head. I thought growing pains were too much! Not only this but Job had his entire family taken from him, all but his wife. But what did his wife do? His wife told him to curse God so that he could die. Real encourager she was to be sure. Job had his entire stock of cattle taken from him, and his house destroyed. I was hearing from an elder of our church not to long ago talk about Job. He said that Job had worms living in his body. He was like an old tossed out piece of sailors bread! Yet did he curse God? No! He would not, he could not curse his Maker. How many of us curse God when we stub our toe? Or hit our hands on the wall when we're frustrated? How many of us would be strong enough to have our body eaten up by maggots and still not curse God? The truth is, I know I wouldn't.
So, what is the point of all that I have said? The point I want to make to you is this: We have so much to be thankful and grateful for that if we aren't thankful we should be ashamed. Why is it so hard to count your blessings? We all have wonderful lives compared to many and should thank the Lord daily, even hourly for all that He has provided for us. Yes, we have hard times, we have less than desirable things happen to us each day, but still, that's not he point. We must choose to see the good in all that happens. See what God is doing in our lives and how He is taking care of us. God is with us, so let's thank Him for it.