Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Cup Runs Over

When was the last time you were truly thankful? As weak and selfish human beings, we are so prone to forget to give thanks unto the Giver of all good gifts. We are so quick to grumble and complain when things do not go the way we want them to. Rather than being thankful to God for providing abundant rain to water the thirsty ground, we grumble because we are getting wet or because we wanted to get some things done outside. Rather than praising the Lord for granting us senses and the ability to work and interact with people, we complain when we are asked to stay an hour later to help out. No matter what the situation, somehow we can always find something to complain about. This attitude springs from pride and arrogance.

A recently-read quote by C. J. Mahaney helps put things in their proper perspective:

"Let each of us recognize every day that whatever grace we receive from God is so much more than we're worthy of, and indescribably better than the hell we all deserve."

Even on those days when it seems like things could not go any worse, we must remember that we are already receiving so much more than we deserve. What we deserve as sinful, proud, ungrateful beings is nothing less than God's wrath. We deserve hell.

We must remind ourselves daily that the very fact that we are breathing should be ample cause for humble rejoicing and adoration at the great mercy of our Savior! Not only does our God richly supply us with temporal blessings, but he also grants us the greatest gift of all - the answer to our greatest need - grace and peace through Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross! What a marvelous gift!

I close with a portion of the Puritan prayer "Evening Praise" taken from The Valley of Vision.

I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this world -
the refreshing air,
the light of the sun,
the food that renews strength,
the raiment that clothes,
the dwelling that shelters,
the sleep that gives rest,
the starry canopy of night,
the summer breeze,
the flowers' sweetness,
the music of flowing streams,
the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends,
Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort.
My cup runs over.
Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies.

Thy hand bestows blessings: Thy power averts evil.
I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces,
the full warmth of faith,
the cheering presence of Thy Spirit,
the strength of Thy restraining will,
the spiking of hell's artillery.

Blessed be my Sovereign Lord!"

Give us humble and thankful hearts, we pray, O God!

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