Last week I spent two hours in my car to accomplish merely two simple tasks:
I had to take my vehicle in for service and then attend a meeting. It took an hour and a half in traffic to get to and from the repair shop and another 30 minutes to get across town again to the meeting venue.
While I began grumbling as soon as the traffic congestion reared it’s ugly head, I was in a full tirade by the time I hit the 90 minute mark. Crabby because my car needed some expensive work done, I was on a verbal roll. (My car wasn’t going anywhere, but my mouth sure was.)
Some would say it was the exhaust fumes from the car in front of me, but I think it was the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, my lack of gratitude crushed me as though the car was an aluminum can. I realized how spoiled I was to lament this ‘first world problem’ as if it were of any significant consequence.
I began to thank God for the ways He’s blessed me only through the use of my car.
I ran out of miles before I ran out of reasons to give thanks… for my car, let alone the abundance of other blessings God has poured out.
- I port a week’s worth of groceries in the cargo area of my van. Some walk for hours every day to simply get water and carry it on their heads.
- My car has shuttled children (mine and others) to and from school for more than nine years. The conversations that have taken place have been community-, relationship- and faith-building. (Okay, not all of them.)
- The safety systems in our car protected us from an on-coming full-size pickup truck spinning out of control at high speed on icy roads, despite the impact pushing us off the road, through a fence and head-on into a tree. (I’ve also learned the hard way not to rely on my car for safety.)
- Our vehicles have escorted the most precious cargo home from hospitals and airports when God added to our family through birth and adoption.
- We’ve been able to visit loved ones across the country when airfare wasn’t affordable, thanks to a reliable car.
- Getting to and from work to provide for our family is expedient; we have more time with my husband because he isn’t limited by the schedules of public transportation.
- We have explored some of God’s most beautiful wildernesses and been awe-struck by the majesty of His creation; we’ve seen sights we wouldn’t have otherwise beheld without a vehicle to get us ‘off the beaten path.’
This list is by no means exhaustive of the ways God has blessed me through the use of a car, or the innumerable other gifts in my life.
When I stopped to express gratitude to Him for just this small portion, my heart and attitude were changed through the act of giving thanks.
Psalm 118 puts that verb ‘give’ [thanks] in the imperative tense and it gives us the reasons why:
Because God is good and His love endures forever.
Wishing you a day filled with gratitude because He is good,
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
– Psalm 118:1 ESV
Flash back to last year’s Thanksgiving post, Offerings of Thanks, and see how many friends found God’s goodness in the midst of their struggles.
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