[forthright] Unseen Blessings

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 05:19:53 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

When troubles come, no one knows better than Job. 'In
Search of Perfection: Studies from Job,' by Michael E.
Brooks. Click here:
http://forthrightpress.com/#InSearchOfPerfection


COLUMN: FIELD NOTES

Unseen Blessings
 by Michael E. Brooks

"For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their
ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have
closed" (Matthew 13:15 NKJV).

My recent travels have taken me into areas of the
United States where I have rarely or never been before.
Crossing the rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma I was
reminded of a segment from the novel "Rafe" by Weldon
Hill which was set in this part of the country.

The title character, a boy of about twelve, sat with
his younger brother on one of those Oklahoma hills,
surveying the surrounding sweep of territory. "What
beautiful scenery" he said. His brother immediately sat
straighter and exclaimed, "Where is it? I want to see
some."

It is easy to become inured to our surroundings. A few
years ago, I marveled as a "Video Bus" load of Nepalis
focused upon Hindi music videos as we drove down out of
the Himalaya mountains.

They were surrounded by the most majestic and awesome
peaks on earth, but preferred to watch old CDs on the
television mounted at the front of the bus. What others
cross oceans to see, had become commonplace to them.

In the same way, we can be unaware of the abundance of
blessings which God has given us. We are so overwhelmed
with bad news, complaints, criticisms, and
discouragements that we forget all the good which
surrounds us.

Every day we receive blessings beyond our ability to
count. If we have good health every effortless breath
we take is a great blessing. If our eyes are open every
flower, bird, or smiling face is of awe inspiring
beauty.

Our ears are filled with beautiful music, children's
happy voices, and the gentle sounds of breeze and
brook. Yet we often do not notice, or simply take them
for granted.

An older preacher was visiting the church where I
served some years ago. He sat in my car as I filled the
tank with gasoline, then when I got back into the car
he pointed out a little old house in front of us.

Naming the architectural style it represented, he went
on to point out the intricate trim on the porches and
gables. After he finished I had a new appreciation for
the style and beauty of what had previously been just
another old building.

We often sing, "Count your many blessings, name them
one by one". Sometimes all we need do to develop a
proper appreciation for what we see and what we have is
to stop and take time to mention those things, to take
note of them, and to recognize them for what they truly
are.

Let us open our eyes, soften our hearts, and prick our
ears that we might see, hear and appreciate all God has
done for us.

   "Now to him who is able to do exceedingly
   abundantly above all that we ask or think,
   according to the power that works in us, to
   him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
   to all generations, forever and ever, Amen"
   (Ephesians 3:20-21).

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