Today’s miracle amid the mundane is truly both – a miracle and the most mundane of everyday events. Now I confess – this miracle took place yesterday but continues today and I trust into the forseeable future, so I will count it as today’s miracle. This would be the miracle of being able to wear a boot (or even a shoe) after not being able to do so since December 6th. Since my infamous injuring of my left big toe, I have worn only big socks and slides, until recently graduating to big socks and crocs a few weeks ago.
So yesterday, when it was snowing and I needed to return to work, I wanted to wear something other than crocs on my feet. The boots and shoes I had tried on previously had not worked but this time I found a fit that didn’t hurt my still recovering toe! Progress! It felt so good to have my feet covered, snug and warm while walking in this cold, wet, winter weather. Something I have always taken for granted, warm footwear, has been restored to me. And just when I needed it most! The blessing of warm boots is something I wasn’t necessarily thankful for until I had to go without them for awhile.
There are so many things for me to be thankful for each and every day. Why is it I don’t appreciate so many of my blessings until they are interrupted or taken away? (like being able to wear warm boots) Although it is true that “each day has enough trouble of it’s own”, each day is also filled with God’s unmeasured, unmerited grace and mercy poured out all around me and on me each day. If only my eyes were open to see all of God’s merciful manna, falling around me, new every morning.
Why just this morning I had hot water for a shower, a working furnace, a roof over my head, clothes to wear, a job to go to, a car that started, food to eat, feeling good, living in a free country . . . the list could go on, and of course would include the blessing of being able to wear boots today. Even these blessings I have named are not things that people here or around the world necessarily have access to on a daily basis, such as clean water, shelter or freedom.
This time of COVID causes me to count my blessings anew and be grateful all over again for things I may have grown complacent about. I am not owed anything. It is all grace and it is all a gift – everyday, every moment of every day. The opportunity to worship with others, the opportunity to work, was I not thankful for those things until they were gone? Was I grateful for every hand that held mine, for every hug, for every smile that I can no longer see? It was not until they were gone that I knew them for the gifts, for the blessings they had been every day of my ordinary pre-COVID days.
But even during this time of COVID, each day is a gift and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to be grateful for each and every blessing hidden in these tough times. I feel like my life is on hold. Then I realize my Heavenly Father is the One who holds my life in His hands. What felt like barriers preventing me from moving forward, now I recognize as the hedge of protection His hands provide me.
I have felt isolated and alone during these COVID restricted days. I am physically separated from those I love, but I am not separated from my Heavenly Father.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us (me) from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Well that’s a pretty all inclusive list, so I don’t think COVID or all the hardships and loss that have come to us because of it will have any power to separate me from God’s love for me or to interfere with His plan for my life or His grand plan for mankind, for that matter.
” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“The Lord is . . . patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Today, the blessing of my boots has reminded me to open my eyes and my heart to all the gifts from God that I am receiving during this day. I don’t want to miss a one and so fail to give thanks for all God’s very good gifts.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy.” (Psalm 107:21-22)
Giving thanks to God, reveals to me the gifts, the mercies and the miracles He is bestowing daily, which otherwise would remain hidden and unnoticed beneath the sorrows, setbacks, suffering and trials which also fill our days. My days and I bet your days, too, dear readers, are full of both. It is God’s sustaining merciful manna, new every morning which carries me through whatever the day brings.
Perhaps hearing from a long lost loved one or some unexpected kindness or encouraging word is just what we need to see us through a dark day or a disappointment. Maybe these words will awaken the power of praise and gratitude within each of us that ushers us into the very presence of our Creator.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5)
“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us (me) rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
” . . . let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)
Lord, help me to do just that today – thank You for the wearing of the boots, thank You for work, thank You for smiles and kind words, thank You for Your daily mercies, thank You for . . .
sincerely, Grace Day