It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Some may call it Black Friday. Not me. I’m so glad to be in the comfort of my home, sipping my Maxwell House Master Blend coffee with International Delight Coldstone flavored creamer, relaxing beside my black iron boxwood stove generating that blessed heat, and listening to the soothing sounds coming from the cage in front of my kitchen window. Muffin, my zebra finch, is serenading the rising of the sun. While the rest of my tiny part of the world is in a shopping frenzy, I am completely lost in the little things. The simple pleasures. Yes, today I’m thankful for the little things in life.
Because today is another day. A new day.
Truthfully, I am very tired.
I got a flu shot Monday. On Tuesday I got the flu. This has never happened to me before. My common sense tells me I’ll never get another flu shot again. I keep asking myself, “How could this possibly be a good thing?” I’ve been keeping myself medicated with over-the-counter flu medications because I was not about to cancel Thanksgiving dinner with my family. No way. If you read my last post, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I may not have felt my best, but I determined in my heart to live in the moment.
This hasn’t just been a physically draining week, though. It’s also been emotionally challenging. Some things have happened to cause great sadness in my spirit. Big things. Difficult things. Hard things. Messy things. Things that affect the quality of life. Not mine personally, but people I care about. Disease. Death. Damage. What do you do when your heart is broken for the Broken? What do you do when your soul is downcast for the Downcast? What do you do when your spirit is crushed for the Crushed?
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3
When how could this be a good thing? rings in my ears I am comforted by these words from the prophet Isaiah. They proclaimed the role and purpose of the coming Messiah. During Christ’s ministry on earth, He opened the scrolls and read these words in the synagogue, fulfilling this prophecy. Now that He’s in heaven sitting at the right hand of the Father and His Spirit lives and breathes in me, I can now minister in His name and in His power just like this. To the broken. To the downcast. To the crushed. In the darkness. In the prisons. In the ashes.
That’s how I do it.
When the ugly things rear their nasty heads, I tend to appreciate the little things all the more. The simple pleasures. I refocus because I don’t want to miss what’s right with the world. I don’t want to miss what’s good. I don’t want to miss the faithfulness of my God in the ugliness of life. I don’t want to miss the Spirit of Christ in this coming season. I want to keep my eyes on Him.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.” Lamentations 3:22-27
I may not be so young anymore. I turned 57 on Sunday, but I had a few difficulties of my own as a child. As an adult, I can now see the good that has come from bearing the yoke when I was young. In the midst of the ugly, I still see the beauty of Christ and that is such a good thing. I can recall to mind so many wonderful, beautiful things that have happened and they greatly outshine all the ugly. God is so good like that. Full of compassion. Full of mercy. Full of grace. It’s not suppose to be a hard thing to grasp for the heart that truly seeks. I don’t think it’s meant to be difficult. I think Jesus wants it to be simple.
Yes, I’m tired, but honest-to-goodness, I’m oh-s0-thankful for the little things.
And maybe, just maybe, I can learn to be thankful for flu shots again because they really are a good thing. As many times as I’ve had one, I’ve never gotten the flu before…until now.
As Muffin continues to fill my kitchen with her song, I’ll determine to live in this moment and give thanks for God’s simple pleasures…drinking from the cup of His blessings, warming myself in the Light of His presence, and listening to the soothing sound of His voice.
It’s another day. A new day.
And I am still very thankful.