Well, it is THAT time of the year… yep… every other day it seems like my yard is covered in a fresh layer of leaves, and let me tell you, forty plus trees means there is a LOT of leaves. Usually I enjoy yard work and doing chores around our property, but not doing the leaves. You know, if I only had to do them once a year it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but of course that is not the case. I have to remove them 6-7 times each fall.
So, last Monday I spent about four hours blowing 4.7 million leaves with a handheld leaf blower… oh yeah… my garden tractor is down and needs repair too, of course. I guess I was about two hours into the job when I actually said out loud, “I really hate doing these stupid leaves.”
Fortunately I had a self-pity-party for only a few moments when I felt the nudge of the Spirit and heard a quiet voice in my heart say, “Yes, but at least you are healthy and well enough to be out here doing the leaves.” My thoughts drifted back to my recent two plus weeks of illness when I would never have been able to do any work outside, and that led me to think of others who have serious health issues and cannot do those type of things either.
Did you know it is possible to have a prayer time even when you are dealing with the annoying roar of a leaf blower engine? I spent a few moments thanking God for healing. Thanking God for my good health. And thanking Him for the good gifts He gives so often, that I take for granted every day.
Here is what I think… Gratitude is a choice. We can choose to focus on the difficulties and challenges in life, or we can choose to live a life of gratitude for all of the good things God has given us. Life will always have its challenges this side of Heaven… we will never be completely free from disappointment and trials, but God’s blessings really do outweigh the difficulties.
Nehemiah wrote, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV) There is so much truth in that little verse, isn’t there? So, as we approach Thanksgiving this week, let’s choose gratitude. Let’s express joy. Because if you really think about, what is 80 or so years of a challenging life on earth… compared to a FOREVER in Heaven?