As I was driving this morning, I noticed the sky. The first thing I noticed was it was gray and cloudy. I even took a picture to prove it:
Then, I did a double take. Look at the picture again... do you notice anything new with a second glance? I did... I saw sunbeams breaking through the gray clouds... and not just one sunbeam, there were tons of them. They were so subtle. The sunbeams were actually the same color as the clouds, just brighter. It would have been so easy to miss them, especially while I was driving. You know, you can't spend too much time gazing at the clouds while you're driving on curvy back roads. But there was something else I noticed too. While I couldn't see the sun behind the clouds, I knew it was there because a bright white glow was penetrating through. It was pretty amazing to witness this.
You know what? God's blessings can be just like those sunbeams. Each day He showers us with blessings that we can so easily miss if we aren't looking for them. Even when we are covered by the gray clouds of a trial, God is pushing through the clouds to love on us... to bless us. The Bible even touches on this in Isaiah 9:2-3, 6:
The people walking in darkness (imagine the gray clouds of a trial here) have seen a great light (the sun's bright white glow behind the clouds... knowing God is there even when you can't feel Him at the moment). On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned (sunbeams breaking through the clouds). You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder (imagine the people doing a double take because the recognize the blessings God is shining on them, and they give thanks)... For to us a child is born, to us a son (or sun in this example) is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Parentheses are mine).
The song "Blessed Be The Name" by Matt Redman reminds us: "Every blessing you pour out Lord, I'll turn back to praise." http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=du0il6d-DAk
It's a great worship song and believe it or not, it even talks about blessing God's name when the sun is shining down on us... it ties in perfectly with sunbeams, don't you agree? But the song also reminds us that we are to bless God when the road is marked with suffering... kinda like when the sun is hidden behind the gray clouds of a trial. Reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:18: Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus.
That's what this Thankfulness Experiment is all about. It's about taking each blessing we receive and thanking God for it. I find myself doing a double take on my day as I write my thankfulness list each night... reflecting on all the sunbeams God shined on me and turning them into praises of thanksgiving. I can't wait to see what sunbeams you share!
Today, I'm thankful for...
1. Thankfulness lessons taught by sunbeams
2. Angel Tree shopping with with some amazing company
3. Pink pleated skirt and sparkly footless tights
4. Tangled doll and bracelets
5. Girlie pink pea coat
6. Senior Iguana's Chicken Chimichanga- delish!!
7. My red hat and Christmas shirt
8. Driving with my sunroof open - in December!!
9. My good friend and neighbor watching the boys
10. Laughing with friends over dinner
11. Getting my calendars in the mail and loving the cover picture that brings a smile to my face
12. My parents spontaneously offering to let our boys spend the night last night
13. Extra long quiet time this morning because of the overnighter with my parents
14. Candles that transform the fragrance of my house from Chili to Christmas tree
15. Jammin' to Christmas songs in the car
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 6,654 to go...