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845th -- The Gift


We each have much to be thankful for, but many times when we face a loss,
we tend to forget all the joys and pleasures that we had experienced 
beforehand and we focus only on what we have lost. We should change our 
thinking in that regard and have a grateful heart for all that we've been
given and remember that in life there will be laughter and tears, gains 
and losses, gathering and giving away and life and death. We will not see
only good things and we will not see only bad things. Life is a mixture 
of ups and downs, mountains and valleys, joys and sorrows. When we face 
life with this knowing, we can begin to comprehend how beautiful life is 
and how precious our time on earth really is. (Proverbs 3:5-6) (Jeremiah 29:11)

When we have an appreciation for time and realize that tomorrow is not 
promised to us, we will see things with a new perspective. We will not 
look at our losses in the same light, but rather we will appreciate the 
good times we had, the laughter we shared, the love that shined through 
with those who meant so much to us. Be encouraged to look at life with a
new perspective and appreciate what you have right now. Do not focus on 
your losses and think the end is near, but rather renew your vigor for 
life and do all that you can to enjoy every moment you have because we 
never know when it will be our last. (Isaiah 55:8-9) (Philippians 3:13-14)

I hope this message encourages and inspires your heart to appreciate all 
that you have right now. Do all that you can to create memories, share 
laughter and enjoy one another because life is too precious to simply let
it pass us by.


A story about an old Bendix washing machine helped one man get through the
valley of loss.

His parents acquired the washer when John Claypool was a small boy. It 
happened during World War II. His family owned no washing machine and, 
since gasoline was rationed, they could ill afford trips to the laundry 
several miles away. Keeping clothes clean became a problem for young 
John's household.

A family friend was drafted into the service, and his wife prepared to go
with him. John's family offered to store their furniture while they were 
away. To the family's surprise, the friends suggested they use their Bendix
while they were gone. “It would be better for it to be running,” they said,
“than sitting up rusting.” So this is how they acquired the washer.

Young John helped with the washing, and across the years he developed an 
affection for the old, green Bendix. But eventually the war ended. Their 
friends returned. In the meantime he had forgotten how the machine came to
be in their basement in the first place. When the friends came to take it
away, John grew terribly upset -- and let his feelings be known.

His wise mother sat him down and said, “Wait a minute, Son. You must 
remember, that machine never belonged to us in the first place. That we 
ever got to use it at all was a gift. So, instead of being mad at it being
taken away, let's use this occasion to be grateful that we had it at all.”

The lesson proved invaluable. Years later, John watched his eight-year-old
daughter die a slow and painful death of leukemia. Though he struggled for
months with her death, John could not really begin healing from the loss 
until he remembered the old Bendix.

“I am here to testify,” he said, “that this is the only way down the 
mountain of loss...when I remember that Laura Lou was a gift, pure and 
simple, something I neither earned nor deserved nor had a right to. And 
when I remember that the appropriate response to a gift, even when it is 
taken away, is gratitude, then I am better able to try and thank God that
I was ever given her in the first place.”

His daughter was given to him to love and nurture. She never belonged to 
him, but he had the awesome privilege of sharing her life for a while. 
When he realized that simple fact, everything changed. He could now begin
healing from the tragedy of her loss by focusing instead on the wonder of
her life. He started to see Laura Lou as a marvelous gift that he was 
fortunate enough to enjoy for a time. He felt grateful. He found strength
and healing. He finally knew he could get through the valley of loss.

We all experience loss -- loss of people, loss of jobs, loss of 
relationships, loss of independence, loss of esteem, loss of things. What
if you view that which is lost as a gift you were given for a time? 
Perhaps that simple choice of trying to reframe your loss will change sad
memories into thankful ones. And perhaps it will get you unstuck and back
on the road to healing and wholeness.

By Steve Goodier

Read and meditate on these scriptures:

Psalm 139:1-6 “O LORD, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest 
my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my
ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, Thou knowest
it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand 
upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot 
attain unto it.”

Psalm 37:3-6 “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the 
land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and
He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the 
LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring
forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”

Hebrews 10:22-24 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies
washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith 
without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) And let us consider
one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”

Psalm 37:23-25 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He
delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand. I have been young, and now am 
old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.

Today's Selected Poem: WHAT IF?
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem16.htm

Today's Selected Testimony: THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony48.htm

In Christ’s Service,

Dwayne Savaya
God’s Work Ministry


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