Sunburns and Gratitude

I wrote this post a little while ago and forgot to post it… sorry it’s been so long. My life has been beyond crazy, but once again, I’m alive and still blogging!  

Ugh! How easily I forget God’s goodness, and how pathetically ungrateful I can be!  Today, God, as He is so good to do, reminded me of this particular weakness in my life.  

 

See, it all started with a sunburn… Now, I never get burned, so when I do, I really freak out… like, ‘Help!  I’m on fire!  Will it ever heal?  Am I dying?!?!?’  And if I peel, oh heavens!  Needless to say, my easily-burned mother and brother enjoy a few laughs at my expense when this does happen.  

Well, very unfortunately, I managed to get a nice little burn last week after spending all day at Sun N’ Fun, in full sun… with expired sunscreen.  As a result, I now look like a molting duckling and, unlike usual, am hiding from any overly friendly rays of sunlight. 

 

Anyway, I was push mowing in the heat of the day today, (yeah, I have great timing, I know…) so my poor mottled shoulders and neck were once again mercilessly exposed to the sun because the yard I was in had only a few patches of blessed shade.  Well, I had been talking with God while I mowed, when suddenly, I thought to ask Him to please bring clouds over the sun when I had to venture forth from those patches of shade.  Sure enough, God, in His graciousness, did just that!  

 

But, did my ungrateful self think about why my sensitive skin was shaded from more scorching, or thank the One who provided that shade?  Nope.  It wasn’t until a bit of sun peeked back through the clouds and I began to complain that I realized how long God had been answering my prayer.  It was as though those few rays of light were His reminder to me of how blessed I had been in their absence.  

 

Through my silly sunburn fiasco, God was showing me how much I took His blessings for granted.  Realizing how ridiculous I was, I repented of my ungratefulness and thanked God for granting even such a petty request.  I love how much God really does care about the little things in our lives!  

Anyway, amazingly, despite how undeserving I was, He gave me a mostly shady mow and kept me from burning again.  Although this may seem small and silly to some, it was yet another way that God reminded me of His goodness, mercy, and patience in my life!

 

As I retold the story to my mama, I began to see parallels to my daily life.  How often do I pray for something spiritual or physical, (like clouds over the sun) then God grants the request, and I forget to credit and thank Him?  It’s humbling to realize how often that happens.  And usually, like the shade today, it isn’t until that blessing is taken from me that I realize how wonderful it was.  

But most important of all, is God’s reminder that no matter how undeserving I am, He still loves me, He still listens to me, and He still will bless me.  I can never deserve His goodness, and yet, He mercifully says that I don’t have to!  

A Busy Heart and Soul…

Well, once I again, I find myself sitting down to write and realizing that it has been wayyy too long.  Again.  And, once again, I find myself apologizing and making hopeful promises (which hopefully I will keep more faithfully this time) to write more often.

What’s my excuse for this complete negligence of my teensy piece of internet real estate?  Oh, the usual… I’ve been super busy, and life’s been crazy, it’s the Christmas season… blah, blah, blah…  Now don’t get me wrong, all of that is true, and not even bad excuses, but, in the midst of a hectic schedule and similarly clouded brain, I’ve been realizing that I have more control over my scatteredness than I realize, or perhaps even want to realize…

I was reading a book called ‘The Praying Life’ by David Paulison a little while ago (AMAZING book by the way!  Seriously, one of the best I’ve ever read besides the Bible… I very much recommend it!) and I came across a quote that has stuck with me ever since.

‘It’s okay to have a busy life.  It’s crazy to have a busy soul.’

When I read it, I was definitely convicted, because I have the tendency to let the state of my soul match my circumstances… which, quite often, tends to make it… busy.  Which, if I think about it, makes NO sense!  I mean, the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns ever, declare beautifully that ‘…whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.’  And as long as I’m letting my circumstances toss me around like a kite in a stormy sky, then I’m not embracing the promise my Savior has given me of a peaceful heart.  Because of His love and sacrifice for me, the peace of my soul is completely independent of my circumstances.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27.

The state of my soul may be independent of my life, but the state of my life is dependent on the state of my soul, which is directly dependent on my relationship to my heavenly Father, and daily surrender to Him!

My encouragement and challenge and prayer to and for all of you is that you would come before God and pray that the state of your soul would not match your circumstances.  Pray that He would be the Master in your heart, mind, soul, and life so that you can honestly say, ‘it is well with MY soul…’

A very Merry (and peaceful!) Christmas to you all!  = )