My view today is different from usual.
Instead of the expanse and vastness of God’s ocean, I am surrounded by trees in the midst of woodland. Instead of watching ships at sea, I’m watching waterfowl in the pond near our chalet (a goose has just wandered up to my feet, accepting to have its photo taken but hissing when I moved). Squirrels instead of cyclists race by. Instead of the crash of the waves, I have a cacophony of bird song and calls, even the sound of deer, and in the background the overhead planes from a nearby RAF base.
All very different but still very much a blessing. These few days’ holiday were an unexpected gift to our family from someone and we are enriched by their generosity.
The holiday is a blessing – but we have had to take action to receive it, to get the best from it, and to accommodate it.
There is a spiritual parallel here that does not escape me.
Our accommodation here is paid for – but we had to pay to get here. We couldn’t enjoy this holiday without going to where it had been provided. Often, like Elijah, our provision and blessing is provided by God, but we have to listen to Him and obey Him and MOVE in order to receive it.
Once here, we could just enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the free indoor pool however the facility has more to offer – if we are to pay for it ourselves. Again, sometimes the blessings God provides for us can be multiplied by us putting effort in, not counting the cost. He can provide a harvest but we have to work to collect it.
With three of the four children and one of the adults in our family being wired uniquely (within the autistic spectrum) there are challenges involved in being in a new place, new building, new bed, new routine, different sounds, different experiences. It would be true to say the first evening and night have been tough! But we all know and recognise that if we push through the “different”, if we ride out the tough emotions, get a handle on the “newness”, then there will be great benefits.
Recieving all God has for us isn’t always easy. The blessings of Abraham are ours now through Christ’s sacrifice but we need to press in and take hold of them. Despite the challenges, despite the doubts, pushing through the obstacles, stretching our faith, until we step into the fullness of those blessings.
Today, wherever you are, don’t just stop to “count your blessings” but look to make sure you aren’t missing some, hidden because you are looking in the wrong place or need to move, failing to grasp what you need to do, to sacrifice, to make the most of what is at hand, or maybe failing to experience blessings because all you see are the challenges between you and them.
“Oh, how great is Your goodness,
which You have laid up for those who fear You,
which You have done for those
seeking refuge in You before people!”
(Psalm 31: 19 MEV)