Some of you may remember the children's book series, Where's Waldo? They were around when my kids were young. Each page had a very complicated and busy scene with all sorts of people and things and scenery, and your job was to find Waldo, this one very odd looking person. My kids and I had fun searching each page for Waldo. Sometimes it would take quite a while to find him!
Yet, life is very much like each of the pages in these Waldo books, a mish-mash of people, events, scenes, tasks, tragedies, and struggles. Yet within each page of our lives, even within each day, God has hidden a blessing. My husband and I just returned from a week in Kauai where blessings abound. It wasn't hard to find the blessings when we got up every morning and drank our coffee on our balcony overlooking the ocean! Truly, everywhere we looked, everywhere we went, blessings were obvious. But my life hasn't always been like that. Many many pages of my life were so convoluted with trials and heartaches and work and sweat and tears that the blessing, if any, would have been hard to find. But as I've looked back over my life and as I've proceeded forward, I've learned a very important lesson. There is always a blessing. It may be hidden in the chaos of your day, but it is there, and God will show it to those who go searching for it with a grateful heart.
Easy for you to say, you might comment. You're living your dream of being an author. Not only that, you just got back from Hawaii! Not hard to see blessings there. Would you believe there was a time when I had no food but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed my young children? When my electricity got turned off because we couldn't pay the bill? Divorce, heartache, physical pain, loneliness, sickness, terror, abandonment, are all things which I have known intimately.
I believe God honors thankfulness. When His children can honestly thank Him in the midst of trouble, it puts a huge smile on His face. Think about it. As a parent, what does that do to you when your children are grateful for even the small things? It warms your heart and makes you want to give them more! All throughout the Scripture, we read about God's reaction to complaining and negativity (Think Israelites in the desert) and how pleased He is with a grateful heart of worship.
I hear an awful lot of complaining among God's people and not a lot of praise. I'm guilty of it as well. But I have noticed that in those stages of my life when I've been more thankful, when I'm thanking God for every little blessing I find, I'm not only happier, but my day seems to go better as well.
So, let's search through the muck and mire for that blessing our Father has given us, and before we open our mouths to whine, or even to pray for help, let's thank Him for His faithfulness and love.