Yancy writes that the Hebrews did not have the luxury of forgetting God when they were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. They could get nothing on their own and every single morning woke up to the reality that God was providing for them.
I live such a life of plenty that I can forget what God has given me. Although I never wish for poverty or other tragedy, I do wish for a daily reminder of what God has given me. Why is it so easy for me to forget? Of course the easy answer is that the world tells me that I have earned my home, possessions, etc. That I have good health because I can afford good nutrition and good health care.
Yet I am blessed that I was raised in a home and a community which valued education, hard work, and career efforts. There are other homes and communities (even within my own county) which do not. It was not my doing that dropped me into this home and not another. God made that decision.
One of my daughters was born with a lot of medical issues. It was not her decision, or mine. It was God's. Yet the consequences of those medical challenges are a part of our daily lives.
So how can I wake each morning and praise God for what I have? I know that I have plenty, so much more than I deserve. Yet we are in the midst of a master bath renovation. So I wake up every morning in the middle of a construction zone. My organized, neat self has difficulty not being completely annoyed at the disruption home renovations can cause. I know that I am in an enviable position because we have the ability to renovate. Yet my first thought when I wake up is to curse the disruption, not praise the opportunity.
Oh how I need a mental paradigm shift!
This post was inspired by "The Bible Jeuss Read" by Philip Yancy.