This post began life as something very different than what it turned out to be. I had initially set out to write a somewhat angry post about how boring my life is and how frustrating it is that nothing exciting ever happens to me. But God decided this past weekend to show me that I really have nothing to complain about, and so instead of writing a blog post where I complain about how much my life sucks, I’m going to instead praise God for making my life so awesome. Funny how that happens, huh?
Let’s start with the little things. I have clothes to wear, enough food to eat, and a roof over my head. That may not necessarily seem like much, but there are unfortunately a lot of people out there who don’t have some or all of those things, and the fact that I have all of the basic necessities of life is a big deal, and something that I definitely praise the Lord for.
Then there are things that may not be necessities, but they are still very important. These are things that may not be required for physical survival, but certainly help when it comes to mental and emotional wellbeing. These are the relationships I have with friends and family. I have a beautiful and wonderful wife, two fantastic children, amazing parents, almost bearable in-laws (just kidding – my in-laws are wonderful too), great friends, and innumerable other family members who do nothing but add blessings to my life. When I think about all the people who love me, there’s nothing I can do but sit back in awe and praise God.
As if providing for all of my physical, mental and emotional needs weren’t enough, God has provided for all of my wants as well. I have hundreds of movies, books and video games. I have access to virtually all of the music I could ever want. (Zune Pass, if you were wondering. I’m no pirate.) I have a Wii, an XBox 360, a Playstation 3, a DS, a PSP, 3 Zunes, a high definition TV, a netbook, and my wife and mother-in-law just bought me an iPod Touch for Christmas (which is what caused me to change this blog post from one where I complain about everything to one where I praise God for everything. Really, how can you complain about anything when your wife just randomly buys you a $300 toy?). I have everything I need, and I have everything I want. What possible reason could I have for complaining?
And yet, that doesn’t even remotely cover all of the blessings that God has given me. Everything that I have mentioned so far is as nothing compared to the greatest of all the blessings that I have been given. You see, I don’t deserve any of this. I have been blessed more richly than I could even imagine, and yet I still was planning to write an essay about how much my life sucked and post it on the internet for all the world to see. I don’t deserve any of this. To put it frankly, I am a sinner. But not only has God given me everything I want and everything I need, he has gone above and beyond that, and he has made me sinless as well.
Now, sin is of course something that nobody really wants to talk about. People like to think that there’s nothing wrong with them, that they are basically good people. Unfortunately that’s just not true. But my goal here is not to preach at you. I simply want to talk about how I am aware that I, personally, am a sinner, and how I have confidence that God was wiped the slate clean, so to speak.
I don’t intend to air any dirty laundry in public here. I think the example I just gave is probably sufficient to illustrate my sinfulness. Think about it. What would you think if you had a friend, and you had given that friend food, clothing, and a place to live? What if you had arranged for that friend to meet the girl of his dreams, given him two beautiful children, and had surrounded him with many other wonderful people to love him? And what if you had gone even further, and had bought that friend virtually everything his heart desired, whether he needed it or not? What would you think if that friend then said to you “Ya know, my life is boring and it kinda sucks”? Wouldn’t you be offended? Wouldn’t you, in fact, be shocked and appalled at the insensitivity and ungratefulness of your friend? Would you want to give anything else to that person? Would you die to save that person’s life after that? Would you sacrifice your own beloved son’s life for that person?
That’s what God did for me. Even though I’m an ungrateful wretch who doesn’t deserve even a speck of the blessings that God has given me, he sacrificed his son for me. He saved my life. He set me free from prison. He has prepared a place for me to live with him in paradise for all eternity. It is a blessing so great, that even if it was all he ever did for me, it would be far more than enough.
I have nothing to complain about. Even if I think I have something to complain about, I’m wrong. I am truly and richly blessed. Praise the Lord.
It wasn’t until after I started writing this essay that I realized how timely it is. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the annual holiday where we Americans remind ourselves of how good we have it by eating everything that’s not nailed down. I would urge you, whether you’re an American or not, to take time to reflect on your blessings. I don’t know what they are. I know I have it good compared to most people in the world. You may have to really think long and hard to come up with any blessings. But try. Remember how you’ve been blessed, even if it’s not very much at all. And I pray that you would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, the source of all good things in the universe. And may he indeed richly bless each and every one of you.