Thwip, thwap. Thwip, thwap.
The windshield wipers slamming back and forth trying to keep up with the pelting rain only added to my irritation as I adjusted to driving the used car I had just purchased—an old station wagon with 80,000+ miles and no side-impact airbag protection for the kids.
To get this station wagon, and some badly needed cash for groceries, I had sold the last “treasure” we owned: a 1992 Volvo station wagon with side-impact airbag protection for the kids. By then, everything else was gone. Our house and our savings had all disappeared under the weight of uncovered medical expenses from life-threatening illnesses.
“Okay, God,” I actually said out loud, “now I can’t even protect my kids from side-impact crashes. If anything happens to them, let me tell You what I’m going to do . . .”
Thwip, thwap. Thwip, thwap. (Gulp.)
I was instantly ashamed. In the previous 2 years God had spared both my wife and my son from almost certain death, and yet here I was whining about “things” I had lost. Just like that I’d learned how quickly I could grow ungrateful to God. The loving Father, who did not spare His own Son so I could be saved, had actually spared my son in a miraculous fashion.
“Forgive me, Father,” I prayed. Already done, My child.
How easy it is, Lord, to let the trials of the moment strip us of the memory of Your protection and provision. Praise You, Father, for Your patience and Your unending, unconditional love.
Thankfulness is the soil in which joy thrives.
Because of severe persecution in the days of the early church, Jewish Christians were being pressured to abandon Christianity and revert to Judaism. The letter to the Hebrews was written to encourage these believers to remain faithful to Christ. The unnamed writer affirms that Jesus is God’s Son and is superior to angelic beings, the Mosaic covenant, the Aaronic priesthood, and animal sacrifices (Heb. 1–10). Because Jesus offered Himself once for all as a perfect sacrifice (7:27–28; 9:12, 28), He is the author and perfecter of true faith (12:2), “the mediator of a new covenant” (9:15; 12:24), and the giver of “a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (12:28). In response to who He is, His followers are to “be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (v. 28).