Saturday, September 14, 2013

OMTL Day 14: "The Gift"

I thank my God every time I remember you. 
     --Philippians 1:3

Do you thank God every time you remember the important people in your life?

It's easy to take people for granted. Especially the ones who are closest to us. We get caught up in the busyness of daily living, the details of what needs to get done and who needs to be where--and we forget what a precious gift we have in the people God has put in our lives.

I remember a mother whose young girl had a life-threatening brain tumor. The church gathered around her and prayed. The little girl had surgery, and -- thanks be to God -- the tumor was removed.

One day this mom and her little girl went to the grocery store. The little girl was crying and pitching a fit. Being a handful. You know how kids get sometimes. It's a hassle.

But the mom just smiled. She didn't think about the hassle. She thought about how happy she was that her little girl was still alive -- and still able to express herself, however loudly!

It's easy to take people for granted. And it's easy to focus on what we don't like about them -- their bad habits -- their irritating personality quirks. Sometimes we even start trying to change them, instead of accepting them and trying to understand them.

The past several posts talk about relationship problems and how to handle conflict. I hope they've been helpful, and I hope you'll refer back to them and follow their advice.

But today, let's focus on just being thankful for the important people in our lives. Not taking them for granted. Not focusing on their shortcomings (Lord knows, we've all got 'em).

Let's thank God for the gift.

Throughout the day, do what Philippians 1:3 says--Thank God every time you remember someone important in your life.

And take it a step further: Don't just say, "Thank you, God, for (name)," but thank God for every specific quality or characteristic that you love about that person.

And take it a step further: If the person is someone you're going to see today--don't just tell God--tell them, too.

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