“For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you were unwilling …'” Isaiah 30:15
We’ve repeatedly seen the contrast between Daniel quietly and humbly honoring God while he took a firm stand for his beliefs and King Nebuchadnezzar seeking power and glory for himself to the point of building an idol of himself for everyone to bow down to. God used Daniel to pursue him again and again but the king acknowledged God, then fell right back into his pattern of seeking glory for himself and taking God’s blessings for granted.
Recently when my husband had surgery, I was reminded of how easy it is to take people for granted. He was in the hospital for five days and I was on my own. All of the million little things he does for me, like taking out the trash, putting gas in and having my car clean every week, unloading the dishwasher, and just being there were gone. I thought, do I thank him and appreciate him enough for those things and much more, I doubt it. In fact, sometimes my focus shifts completely to the things he doesn’t do or at least in my idea of “perfect timing” resulting in turmoil inwardly if not outwardly instead of peace.
Do we take for granted the million big and small ways God blesses us everyday? We know that gratitude can literally change the wiring in our brains and lift us out of sadness and despair When I choose to be grateful for a challenging circumstance or a “difficult person” instead of grumbling, what happens? My attitude changes, my outlook improves and when I share it with the Lord, my “burden” becomes lighter. (Matthew 11:28)
It starts with lifting our eyes to heaven as the King did in Daniel 4:34; honoring God with praise, acknowledging that he is the source of everything, and knowing that he closely walks with us in the hard things too. God sometimes takes us out of our comfort zones to show us that we aren’t in charge. He showed King Neb his sovereignty “at the end of that time” that King Neb was driven away. As soon as the King raised his eyes to heaven and “blessed the Most High” his focus shifted from himself and his own circumstances and his reasoning was restored.
We don’t have to be “driven away” to be aware of God’s blessings, we can choose today to pay close attention and have a heart that loves to praise and thank him for all of the obvious and not so obvious ways he cares for us.
Romans 11:36 – For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
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