A thankful perspective

Tonight I led worship again for the men and women at our local assisted living facility. I’ve been welcomed to come and play there as a part of a devotional time by a member of our church. Looking back through my emails, I see my first time there for this was back in Jan 2017; it’s been a year and a half already! I remember one evening coming and there was prayers lifted for one of our regulars. She wasn’t there for several gatherings as she was in the hospital. Sadly, a friend of hers there who also participates regularly expressed that he wasn’t able to find out her status because he was not “family.” I remembered that really bothered me as I would drive back home after our time together. I would think about her at night as I realized that I couldn’t assume I would see everyone again the next time I came to play. I mean, they are all probably over 60 (mostly over 70 or 80 even). They are there until they aren’t there anymore. One woman could play a mean harmonica. I remember her; her name was Virginia (easy to remember because that’s the state we are currently living in right now!). I didn’t get to see her much; she passed on early during my time there but I did get to hear her play my first time there. The people responded to her liveliness and joy as she performed for her peers. I was amazed that, especially at her age, she could do what she was doing- and all by memory! “I want to be like that,” I thought.

So for tonight, I led a time of worship with these songs today:

Lord, I lift your name on high written by Rick Founds

God is Able written by Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding

Mighty to Save written by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding

Getting ready to play…

Before starting to play my acoustic guitar, I shared that I had just heard on the drive over the update on the boys trapped in the cave in Thailand. NPR reported that another four were rescued and that it took the work of many trained Thai Navy SEAL divers and strategically placed oxygen tanks along the way (not to mention the ongoing efforts to pump water OUT of the caves for going on two weeks). NPR described how they had to divide the boys up to bring them out verses trying to lead everyone all at once and why. These are 11-16 year old boys we are talking about and I have two of them in that age range living in our home right now so, naturally, this incredible story caught my attention from the first moment I heard about it on the news. I shared something like what I recreated below, which I wanted to record for whomever might happen to see/hear this online. May this encourage you as you persevere through whatever unexpected (or expected) difficulties come your way.

“I heard on the news today the update on the boys trapped in the cave that 4 more were rescued and that tomorrow they would try for 4 more. They said that the only one that would be left after that would be their coach. I thought about their coach. I thought about how he probably thought, “I lived my life. I will let these boys get a chance at living theirs.” And sent them up one by one to try at getting out of there.” I looked at the older people sitting around looking at me. I continued, “No matter what kind of day you are having- a bad day- just look around. There will always be someone else having a worse day than you.” Head nods and audible murmurs of agreement were shared. “There will always be someone younger than you. Who can you encourage? Who can you lift up? We can all pass on what we know and have learned to someone else. So let these songs of praise remind you of who our God is. … Sing with me.”

Please pray for the coach, these boys, the Thai Navy SEAL divers and volunteers (including the family of the man who died in this rescue) and all else who are involved. Please also keep in mind our elderly who may be your neighbor or they maybe someone you haven’t even met at your local assisted living facility or nursing home and those who work to care for them. Regardless of where we are right now in life, whether it’s what you hoped it would look like or not, we can learn to be content. (Philippians 4:11-13) Sometimes I let my circumstances overwhelm me and it’s times like today that help me to put things back into a thankful perspective.  It is my prayer that we would all have a deeper appreciation for all that we have and all that we have been given. I remember in the movie, Courageous, the main character after losing his daughter to a drunk driver and regaining a better perspective (after months of a dedicated study of God’s Word) he realized that instead of focusing on the time he DIDN’T GET with his daughter (as he reflected on all the things he expected to do but grieved that he would never get to do) he instead thanked the Lord for the time he GOT to spend with her in their lives.  I try to remember this, even as the kids drive me insane. No matter what the future brings or where ever God has us right now, there is ALWAYS something and someone to be thankful for. I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave me my true purpose, my identity and a voice. I hope I can introduce you to Him or reintroduce you to Jesus.  To read what I wrote to learn more about Him, please click here.

An excellent (brief) article by Chip Ingram on “The secret to being content” is also available here.

Please share or comment below if this has been helpful for you. As always, I do welcome prayer for myself and my family. Thank you.

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