It was Christmas evening and we had finished a wonderful dinner at my daughter's home. My grandson, Brandon, was stretched out comfortably in an easy chair with his feet propped up on the oversize ottoman. Reyna, my six-year-old great-granddaughter, nestled in the crook of his arm, obviously enjoying the security and contentment of being close to her daddy.
Meanwhile, the rest of us pitched in to clear up the dishes. That's when Reyna twisted around to where she could see her grandmother and called out, using the German endearment for grandma, "Oma, thank you for making such a good daddy!" I was amused and touched by Reyna's expression of gratitude for the blessing of her daddy's special love and attention. In her young mind, her grandma was the reason she enjoyed the benefit of a good daddy.
Reyna's comment made me think about how important it is to express my gratitude for the benefits I enjoy. I praise God for the many benefits with which He has blessed me, which include a loving family, provision of all my needs, and a church where I can enjoy God-anointed worship and Bible study. But what if some of these benefits were removed? What if I did not have the resources for some of the necessities of daily life. Suppose I could not worship God or read my Bible openly, as in many countries. Would I still be grateful? Would I still praise God if the benefits I enjoy were restricted or withdrawn entirely?
These days, a chaotic economic environment and forces hostile to our values and beliefs threaten the security of our country and the world around us. Many people are depressed and nearing panic over the changes that are taking place and wonder what the future holds for them. They realize that no matter what benefits are offered by the powers that be, they are subject to being changed or eliminated.
In Psalm 103, I have found some benefits that will not be eliminated. They are not dependent on the whims of those who think they know what is best. They were promised and enacted before the foundation of the world by our Creator. These benefits include forgiveness for ALL our sins, no matter how grievous (v.3); healing and deliverance from destructive bondages inflicted by Satan (v.4); the lovingkindness and mercy of our God (v.4); good things that truly satisfy our body and soul (v.5); a renewal of our body, mind, and spirit (v.5).
As we approach Easter, I thank God for the greatest blessing and benefit of all, the gift of eternal life. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for you and me when He hung on the cross and died for our sins. Have you signed up for the best benefit package of all, one that you can enjoy for all eternity? Have you asked Jesus to come into your heart, forgive your sins, and be your Lord and Savior? If not, won't you ask Him now?
© Laura Allen Nonemaker