Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blessings = Responsibilities

What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God! I'll pray in the name of God; I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, & I'll do it together with his people....Oh, God, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I'm ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice & pray in the name of God. I'll complete what I promised God I'd do.....Hallelujah! Psalm 116:12-19 (The Message)
The other day I was reviewing the blessings God gave me during the month of August. WOW! I'm so amazed with all the blessings that God continues to send my way.  The two highlights from August's blessings were my Joy-cation with very dear friends in Michigan, and the new car. Both of these blessings are multiplying blessings! Each day I'm grateful for the wonderful godly friends God has provided and the new car is not only fun to drive, but provides safe transportation. 
As I read Psalm 116, it made me once again realize that with blessings come responsibilities. I am to be praising God and sharing His love with each and every person with whom I have contact. God has used the new car to provide many opportunities to share about God's goodness. It's so much fun sharing what God did to make the new car purchase possible. I'm overwhelmed at His goodness to me. 
October is just around the corner, and I'm preparing for my yearly "Blessings Celebration". (Each year near the anniversary of my back injury, I take time to celebrate all the wonderful blessings God gave me during the year.) Not sure yet, what I'll do this year. It's always fun to see what God works out for the celebration. The past few years, the Celebrations have been filled with wonderful gifts from God. (If you look at the blog posts dated in October near the 25th you can read the previous years' celebrations.)
Some continue to wonder how I can celebrate and rejoice when I live with chronic pain. My response, "How can I not?" Pain is part of my life. It's always there. However, just because the pain is there, doesn't mean I have to allow it to totally rule my thoughts and emotions. Pain has too much control in my life as it is (preventing/limiting me from doing some things),—why would I want pain to have TOTAL control? 
In October 2000, God introduced pain into my life. And over the past 11 years, I've seen how God has used the pain to open doors for me to share His love with others. Pain has allowed me access to people whom I never would have had contact. Would I have chosen pain? No! However, I made a commitment to God in college—"I would be WHATEVER God wanted me to be, WHEREVER He wanted me to go." I realized that as a servant of God, I was to give my life to Him so that I could accomplish His will for my life. 
Just as it says in Psalm 116, I want to complete the promise I made to God and be His faithful servant. The past 11 years has been difficult as I've learned to live with chronic pain and adjust to a new way of life. But it's been filled with God's wonderful blessings! 
What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? One thing which I can do is continue to praise God for His goodness and that is the key to creating a positive day.

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