Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Human nature is a funny thing. We constantly preoccupy ourselves with thoughts of things we don’t have and experiences we are missing out on.
I think it is human nature to take things for granted. When things are going well, we often don’t think about how fortunate we are. Even when we go through a difficult time, once that difficulty is gone we become complacent and often forget what it was like when we went through a tough spell. We take things and people for granted. And sometimes we take life for granted.
In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 11:7-9 says:
It is good to be alive. Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the light of the morning sun. Don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour. Even if you live to be a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day because you will die and then darkness will come and it will last a long time (you will be dead much longer than you were alive). And after you are dead, you cannot do anything. So, enjoy life while you are young. Be cheerful and happy and relish your youthful vigor. Follow your impulses and do whatever your heart leads you to do. Do whatever you want and find pleasure in what you see. BUT don’t forget that God will judge you and you will have to answer to God and give an account for everything you do in your life.
Every day is a precious gift
Maybe you should be saying. I will enjoy the little things in life because one day I know that I will look back and realise that they were the big things. You can’t take anything for granted. Every day is a precious gift: “Learn to appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.”
Am I enjoying each day God has given me? Am I loving him? Am I loving others? Am I loving my life? Am I doing something with this life I have been blessed with? Am I following my heart, pursuing my dreams and finding pleasure in my life? Am I influencing my world? Am I making a difference? Or, am I taking all of this for granted?
Author Francis Chan says, “Nothing you do in this life will ever matter unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made.” Now, there’s a challenging thought!
Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second commandment is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget our blessings
In our own lives, so much is going on, and we don’t notice everything. We don’t realise life while we are living it. We go about our routine and take everything for granted.
The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said that if the stars came out only once a year, everybody would stay up all night to behold them. We have seen the stars so often that we don’t bother to look at them anymore. We have grown accustomed to our blessings. So. in the hustle and bustle of everyday, it is very easy to forget about God and all that he’s blessed us with.
To take things for granted simply means to not say thanks. It’s all about valuing what you know you should do. There’s a saying going around recently that says, What if today you woke up with the only thing that you thanked God for yesterday? Now, that’s a sobering thought. Because, what if yesterday you took the blessings for granted; yesterday you didn’t thank God for a single thing? That would be pretty sad.
I think the best way to deal with gratitude is to live according to God’s will and that you want to honour him with your life—devote your life to God! That can be hard—I’m not saying it’s easy. It can mean sometimes turning away from sinful behaviour and your own vision. You’ve got to do something you might not want to do but God will certainly bless your life.
Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost for ever;
God’s breath is love and that love will remain, holding the world for ever.
No feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory;
No drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,
But is counted and held in God’s story.
Nothing is lost to the eyes of God, nothing is lost for ever;
God sees with love and that love will remain,
Holding the world for ever.
No journey too far, no distance too great, no valley of darkness too blinding;
No creature too humble, no child too small
For God to be seeking and finding.
Nothing is lost to the heart of God, nothing is lost for ever;
God’s heart is love, and that love will remain, holding the world for ever.
No impulse of love, no office of care, no moment of life in its fullness;
No beginning too late, no ending too soon,
But is gathered and known in its goodness.
(Colin Gibson, 1996 Hope Publishing Company)