I try not to play favorites around here, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I have a confession, I have a favorite group of listeners. It’s a group of beautiful folks in St. Louis between the ages of 72 and 102, and they’re the residents of a long term care facility. They listen to the devotional podcast as part of a group activity called “Devotional and Doughnuts”. So here’s a special shout out to my friends this morning, and this one is for you!
These special friends of mine perhaps know something that the rest of us young whiper snapers don’t … they know how blessed they have always been. They have a greater perspective on life, standing on the top of that mountain seeing all God has brought them through. And I bet they would tell us today they no longer worry about the little stuff. Why? Because God has proven to be faithful. He has never failed them yet. They have been blessed.
Oh, what if we could have that perspective today? To know that we are undoubtedly, undeniably, unequivocally blessed! To open our eyes and realize we are surrounded with an abundance of answered prayers and favor every moment of our lives, including this moment. Let me prove it to you.
Do you have someone in your life that you love? I bet you once prayed for them didn’t you? And you got them. But have you forgotten they are a blessing? Have you forgotten they are an answered prayer because now they’re messy and moody and slightly demanding? How quickly we forget the gifts we have received when the gifts grow a little old.
At 15 years old I literally prayed for my husband. Now I wasn’t looking to be a child bride, however I was looking for some new boys to come to my little country town of Ava, Missouri. By about the 7th grade every boy in my school was either my cousin or I had already dated him, or worse … he was my cousin and I had already dated him. So I prayed. I prayed to the God I was just beginning to know and I asked him to bring some new boys to our school. As a result of my prayer, and some other extenuating circumstances I never took the time to learn about, a family was uprooted from Dallas, Texas and their UHaul showed up on a little farm outside of my hometown. This family included a 17 year old male. We just called him “new boy” and he was an answer to my prayers. We began dating immediately, I married him 6 days after my high school graduation, and 3 kids and nearly 25 years later, he’s still mine.
Now why is it on most days I look him right in the face and forget HE IS THE ONE WHOM I PRAYED FOR. He is my answered prayer. I woke up in the bed next to a full blown miracle. Why wouldn’t I be in sheer giddiness over this? Oh yeah, because it’s all just become normal. Somehow I’ve allowed miracles and answered prayers that moved a family cross country because of a 15 year old girls prayers for a boyfriend to just become ordinary.
Perhaps you’re the same way. You too are surrounded by one answered prayer after another. I prayed for my children. I begged God to give me a baby. Just because that baby is a 19 year old soldier in the US Army doesn’t mean I have to miss the fact that he’s a miracle. The result of the prayers of my heart. My daughters … I met them in an orphanage in Mexico and I prayed God would somehow make those beautiful little brown eyed girls mine. Oh he moved mountains to answer that prayer. He did the impossible for me. Now they’re seniors in high school with boyfriends and cars and attitude. When is the last time I looked at them with the perspective that they are my answered prayer? It’s been a while!
How about you? Has it been a while since you looked at your life with the same perspective? You prayed for him didn’t you? You prayed for her. And you have no idea all the mountains God moved for you to receive your answered prayer. Some of us went through a long hard battle or struggle that was miserable in the process, but it was all just proof of God working on our behalf. We know God did the impossible for us. Others will never know this side of Heaven all God did to answer your prayers and make it all look so easy.
Down to every detail, you have been blessed. The house you live in today … I bet you once prayed for it, didn’t you? The shoes you wear today, you wanted them. You picked them out. The shirt I’m wearing at this moment, I recall seeing it in the store, liking it and hoping they had it in my size. They did. I bought it because I wanted it. Today I foolishly put this shirt on without remembering it was exactly what I wanted.
Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere are all the details of our answered prayers and blessings. Let us not be so accustom to getting what we want that we miss it.
Deuteronomy 28: 12 says “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.”
Isn’t this what God has done for us? He has opened the heavens and the storehouse of his bounty and he has blessed us. He heard our prayers. Someone in your family has a job and that job is making money to provide for you. That job was once sought out. They wanted and needed that job, and it was given to them. May you remember you don’t HAVE to go to work today, you GET to go to work today because the very thing you once were looking for is now yours!
Look around you today. You’re surrounded by answered prayers and an endless supply of “yeses” to the things you once only wanted. Every detail. Your family, your house, your job, your car. Hey your car may be a hunk of junk now, but there was a day when you saw that car and you wanted it. You drove it home proud that you got yourself that car. So if it starts today, you be grateful for it just like you were on that first day. It’s still a blessing. It’s a result of a loving God who heard his girl’s needs and supplied from his storehouse.
Now, one last thing and I believe this is something my favorite listeners at the long term care facility in St. Louis would want us all to know … everything has an expiration date on it. Nothing will last forever. What you have today, you must enjoy today. If you have someone you love in your life, love them with every ounce of you today. You may not always have them. If you have a pair of jeans that fit just right, wear them today, your body won’t always look the way it does right now. Open wide the eyes you have been given and start counting your blessings. You’re surrounded by answered prayers. You have been blessed.