Breathing and Praising
Thankfulness is something most of us think about on a regular basis. God gives blessings and we thank Him. Sometimes there are blessings that we don't even think about until we see someone who doesn't have a particular blessing that we have and then we say, "Thank you, Lord." This is kind of along the same line of thinking as to say that we don't often appreciate what we have until it is gone.
I remember a Bill Cosby Show episode where Dr. Huxstable and Claire suddenly stopped picking up after their five children and doing everyday things for them. Chaos erupted. The plan was to make the children be more grateful. It worked. Just as our children are often ungrateful to us for all that we do for them on a daily basis, so are we as God's children often ungrateful for the many things He gives and does for us every day of our lives.
We take for granted many things that we think just happen automatically. God often uses those who don't have to make us realize how much we do have. Two eyes that see are suddenly appreciated so much more when they see someone who is blind. Seeing someone in a wheelchair with no legs makes us want to leap and praise God for two strong legs.
I believe God also allows certain things to happen to us directly to make us more thankful for all He gives. This morning on the radio I heard an announcer tell of spending Labor Day in the hospital because a pill he swallowed didn't go down, but lodged at the opening of his esophagus. He couldn't even swallow a tiny sip of water. After spending the night in the hospital all is well, and he is so much more appreciative of what he thought of before as the simple act of swallowing. When I heard the story I asked myself when was the last time I thanked God for being able to swallow. Have I ever thanked Him for that?
At that moment I remembered a friend who is in the hospital in CCU on a ventilator. She has COPD which is limiting her ability to breathe. I do recall thanking God for the breath in my body as I have suffered from asthma and bronchial pneumonia many times. Not being able to get a good breath does make you truly appreciate the ability to fill your lungs with oxygen on a regular basis.
Material things are so often what we stop to thank God for. But without the ability to breathe or swallow easily, the "stuff" doesn't matter. Without the ability to see or walk, worldly gain doesn't satisfy. I thought of many scriptures I might choose to go with this writing today. I decided to choose one that simply tells us if we have breath in our bodies we should praise the Lord. I have always read the verse that EVERYTHING (as in a lot of things) that has breath should praise. But now I see the verse not so much about the number of things with breath praising but the fact that IF YOU (each one of us) HAVE BREATH you should be praising the Lord.
Sometimes life gives us hard pills to swallow. Sometimes chaos erupts. But if we can breathe, we should praise God.
Psalm 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.