Thankfulness

thankfulness

It’s been another rough week. I’m not going into details but God has made me mindful of how I too often take Him for granted and how the hurt that I can feel, can also be felt by Him.

Sometimes things unfold in front of us, where we call into question whether others, who we love, actually see what we do for them and appreciate what we do and what we’ve done. It could be the giving of our time to them or assisting them in a number of different ways. And sometimes there is a lack of consideration or a lack of thankfulness or appreciation expressed. This can happen to us and it can be caused by us in our interaction with others. This week I experienced some of the hurt that comes from this interaction.

It’s a deep hurt and it can call into question the worth of the effort we many times put out to assist others, especially those that we love. And not only does it call into question the worth of the effort that we put out, but it also calls into question, the worth of the one who puts out the effort. You’ll notice that the focus is on me or us. What’s been done to me or us or how others have failed to appreciate or take into consideration things that I or we have done for them.

That’s one side of the coin and it happens quite often. How we fail to consider and appreciate what others have done for us and also what we have done for others. That’s on a human to human level and it can hurt because we can literally feel that hurt inside when our efforts or our worth is shown to be much less than what we expect. That’s the reality of an individual who is self focusing and I’m pretty sure that we’re all in that same boat.

But there is the other side of the coin and that is the side where our creator God resides and sends forth His love, to us, His creation. And as students of God’s Word, as found in the Bible, we know that the ultimate expression of God’s love to us is that He sent His Son to us, to dwell among us and to show us the way in which we could regain what had been lost. And not only did He show us but He actually did it for us, through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross. That’s not just going the extra mile, that’s God giving us His all. The lack of respect, the mockery, the insults, the physical pain, far above anything that you or I will ever experience. And then He said, in Luke 23:34 NIV “Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”

It struck me as I was experiencing the hurt that I felt, that we often times fail to acknowledge or appreciate the extent to which God gives of Himself to us. The degree to which He was prepared to go and did go, to make a way open for us, that was needed but was not there before. That was the cross, God’s witness to us of His love for us, through His Son. And it also is the witness of the Son, to honor that love, by following the Father’s will and put aside His own will to avoid the pain and anguish that dying on the cross entailed. Imagine if you will, being crucified by your own creation. The closest thing that we as humans could come to this would be to have our own children crucify us. And even this falls way short because God the Father orchestrated this and God His Son willingly honored the Father’s will.

And that is just the beginning. How many times do we pray and ask God for something and He answers our prayer and we fail to thank Him? Or how many times do we fail to recognize what He is doing for us, or has done for us, as He leads us to grow in faith and trust in Him? And if we are created in His image, which we are, I can’t help but think that the internal pain and hurt we can sometimes feel, is shared by our God. God’s word tells us that we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30 NIV).

And yet, even when we forget to acknowledge or thank God for what He has done for us, or is doing for us, He forgives us for our lack of understanding and moves us constantly forward to an ever increasingly awareness of His presence in our lives. A loving parent overlooks the lack of comprehension in a child because that is what a loving parent does. A loving parent knows that better comprehension will come to the child with adequate time and supervision. All kinds of scripture verses are popping into my mind right now but I’ll leave you to supply your own.

So. . . , if I get hurt by the shortsightedness of others in my dealings with them, especially by those who I dearly love, and have a tendency to hurt the most, what does God ask of me? He asks me to consider my shortsightedness of His dealings with me and react accordingly. If we need to be forgiven, which we all do, we must also forgive. And in the end, it’s not about us, it’s about our God and how all good things emulate from Him, the bigger picture if you will.

Sometimes I am amazed at how small I can be.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith, Witnessing
16 comments on “Thankfulness
  1. […] via Thankfulness — Reasoned Cases for Christ […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bruce, I too am amazed by how small and shortsighted I can be. Praise God for His forgiveness, grace and mercy! I am praying for you!!!! Have a Happy Easter!

    Like

  3. Stephen says:

    I enjoy your honesty Bruce. Moving forward I challenge you to to keep in remembrance what James shared as recorded
    “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

    Grace is unmerited favour, Love acts without expecting anything in return. I know you’ve heard this a million times but it is a profound Truth.

    I will share how Jesus taught me that I don’t Love as He loves. I walked into a small french bakery in Edmonton which was run by people of the muslim faith. I was so intrigued that I found it imperative that I try to listen to the music playing that I could barely hear as the volume was really low.
    As I ordered my coffee I wanted a butter tart as they looked delicious. But instead ordered a mini chocolate bread.
    I turned to look outside and there was a man stretching and making a scene at the front door. My first thought was ” this guy wants something for nothing” which is not usually me.
    The man came in and started to talk to me. I looked down at his feet and noticed he was wearing 2 different shoes. I knew at that moment he was indeed homeless and offered to buy him a coffee.
    As we were walking out, I offered him the chocolate bread that I had bought and made mention of Jesus Christ and that Jesus Himself was the Bread of Life. He didn’t really react to that but I confessed that Jesus holds all power and is accessible to all men.
    I got back to my truck and thought about what had just transpired. It was at that point that Jesus brought the song playing to my remembrance. The song ” You don’t know what it’s like to love somebody” by the Bee Gee’s.
    The truth is Bruce, we all have access to something for nothing, it’s Gods’ grace by way of Jesus Christ.
    All us humans are the same, unworthy. For those of us who have received Jesus Christ, we need to never forget that it is by grace through GOD GIVEN FAITH that we are being saved.
    How easy it is to get on ones high horse and start to take offence while speaking platitudes,
    Jesus Christ came not to debate, but to demonstrate who God The Father IS.
    May we be faithful followers and do the same as our one Leader, Jesus Christ.

    May The Grace of Jesus be with you and yours always.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cindy Dawson says:

    I know that I must forgive many things that are hard to forgive, and I do. But the wounds and pain left behind are still there and always will be until I go to Heaven. I will pray for you, my friend, that God will comfort you in the way only He can. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

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  5. SLIMJIM says:

    This post really ministered to me as I had a rough week ministering to some challenging people

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce says:

      That’s really encouraging Jim. I know what “challenging people” means. I find it difficult at times, when confronted with interactions between myself and others, especially those that I love, that appear to tear away at the fabric of God’s message of reconciliation. It’s almost like I have to step out of myself to get the proper perspective. It’s also difficult to have the proper perspective while in the interaction. It is one of those “after the fact” things where God seems to show me, not to leave it at the human to human interaction stage but go back and wrap it up with, at minimum, the offer of reconciliation, which is in essence, cloaked in His love. Easier said that done sometimes, but I can’t ignore it. Grace and blessings my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SLIMJIM says:

        God bless you brother, just prayed for you. I’m dealing with people who are disturbed in ministry and not in family, can’t imagine how painful your experience must be. Praying.

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      • Bruce says:

        Thank you Jim, I’ll take all the prayers I can get. Just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are to me, I lift you and yours up every day in prayer and someday we shall meet in the presence of our Lord. What a day that will be! God bless you and God bless His work in you through your ministry. John 14:19 “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • SLIMJIM says:

        Wow this is humbling Bruce for me to hear this…

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      • Bruce says:

        That’s because you are a man of God Jim and God lives in your heart.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SLIMJIM says:

        Once more thank you

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  6. lynnabbott says:

    I love your blog and writing, Bruce. Not just because you provide incredible resources here, but also because your heart is so true to our Savior! Your reflections hit home! Every. Single. Time. Thank you for this post! So important to express gratitude to our great God and Savior! God bless you big time!

    Liked by 1 person

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