“I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” Ezekiel 34:26
The sound of the alarm clock jolted Ben awake. He groaned, reached out to hit the snooze, and pulled the covers back over his head. He hated getting up in the dark. It just didn’t seem like morning. When the second alarm rang, Ben knew he didn’t have a choice. The smell of bacon drifting down the hallway helped to motivate him.
Mom was at work in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on breakfast, signing his sister’s permission slip, making sure his brother had everything he needed in his backpack. With a grumbled, “Good morning,” he took his place at the table.
“It’s pretty cold this morning, Ben,” Mom said. “Better put on an extra layer today.” His brother and sister rode the bus to school because their school was across town. But Ben lived closed enough to his school to walk. Mom had said it would help save some money if she didn’t have to pay for three bus fares. When school first started, Ben had been happy to walk. It was still warm outside and it was light when he was walking. But the weather had turned colder and the night had become longer and now Ben had to walk to school in the dark every morning. He didn’t much like it.
There were a lot of things different about his life now that Ben didn’t much like. Earlier this summer, his dad had moved out of the house to live somewhere else. He still called and he still stopped by to see Ben and his brother and sister, but it just wasn’t the same. Mom used to drive everyone to school but now, since she got her job, Ben was walking and his brother and sister were riding the bus. Ben had complained to Mom.
“Ben,” she had explained, “sometimes we have to do things or go through things that we don’t much like. I hate what has happened to our family just as much as you do. That’s why we we are praying that the Lord will touch and change your dad’s heart to bring him home to us; that he will find godly sorrow for his sins and turn to the Lord for healing. And it will happen, in the Lord’s perfect timing. In the meantime, we can know that God is watching over us and will take care of us. He will help us get through this time. We just need to trust. And we need to remember that, even in a situation like this, the Lord has blessings for us. See if you can’t find something good to praise the Lord for every day. It will make things so much easier.”
The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. Deuteronomy 2:7
Ben didn’t think there was anything to praise God for today. It was cold. It was dark. He had that huge math test this morning. His best friend whom he always sat with at lunch was supposed to be gone for another two days. The dog had chewed his favorite tennis shoes and the shirt he wanted to wear was dirty. Nope, not much to praise about today.
Mom reached out her hand for the morning prayer. Ben reluctantly took it and bowed his head.
“Lord,” she prayed. “Thank You for this day and for Your blessed hand of protection in our lives. We come to You this morning with grateful and thankful hearts; in awe of You and all You are doing in our lives. Lord, may we all find something today to praise You for. Use us today, Lord, for Your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.”
Ben grabbed his heavier jacket, hoisted his backpack and headed out the door, grumbling. It was dark and it was cold and it wasn’t fair. A few blocks into his walk, he ran across Mr. Trumbull and his little dachshund. As he stopped to chat, the little dog rolled over on her back so Ben could pet her tummy. He laughed and gave her a good belly rub. A little over halfway there, he could see that the sun was starting to come up and within a few blocks he saw the most beautiful pinks and purples he had ever seen. Once he got to school, he saw that his best friend was there, having returned earlier from his trip than had been planned. To top it off, the math test ended up being open book. “Man, what a great day,” Ben thought to himself. “Lots of good stuff happened today.”
Then it dawned on him. All those good things that had happened today, he knew, were the Lord’s way of blessing him. He DID care about him and He DID want to bless him. Ben had just never looked for the blessings before. He was too busy looking at the bad things in his life to see all the good that the Lord provided. It felt good and Ben decided that from here on out, he would look for those blessings every day.
“‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.'” Numbers 6:24-26
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
Read about me
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.