It’s a New Year – time for personal reflection, spiritual examination, and eating the traditional Southern New Year’s Day meal – black-eyed peas over pork rice, greens, and cornbread. I’m happy to say I’ve done all three.
Life does not run smoothly in our house most days. We are the typical family with individual hangups that rub the other members of the household the wrong way. We have two young kids… enough said there. Noise, interruptions, emergencies – the soundtrack of our lives.
But we are blessed.
We have our health. Although right now I am dealing with a mono relapse, I am grateful that it’s not cancer, or lupus, or ALS. Our children are healthy and strong.
We have enough. We have a comfortable home, electricity, running clean water, more than enough clothes, and plenty of food. Our vehicles are paid for, and run well (most of the time). We have what we need.
We have the Lord. As we seek to honor Him daily with the flawed offering of our broken lives, I keep Psalm 34 in mind:
1 I will praise the Lord at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will boast in the Lord;
the humble will hear and be glad.
3 Proclaim Yahweh’s greatness with me;
let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to Him are radiant with joy;
their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him from all his troubles.
7 The Angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 You who are His holy ones, fear Yahweh,
for those who fear Him lack nothing.
10 Young lions lack food and go hungry,
but those who seek the Lord
will not lack any good thing.
11 Come, children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who delights in life,
loving a long life to enjoy what is good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from deceitful speech.
14 Turn away from evil and do what is good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and His ears are open to their cry for help.
16 The face of the Lord is set
against those who do what is evil,
to erase all memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.
19 Many adversities come to the one who is righteous,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.
20 He protects all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Evil brings death to the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 The Lord redeems the life of His servants,
and all who take refuge in Him will not be punished. ~ Psalm 34, HCSB
We have each other. What a gift. What a blessing.
Lord, please help us to appreciate the blessings we receive from You. Let us not take them – or You – for granted.