Grateful for an Apple – Every Good Gift

When was the last time you were grateful for an apple? Or thankful for a granola bar? Or felt blessed for a toilet that flushes? Or water that comes out hot? Or a spray bottle that squirts out yummy smelling household cleaner? Or shoes that fit? Or socks that don’t have holes in them? Or a car that gets you places – even if the traffic’s bad? Or a stinky, slobbering, shedding dog that’s still alive and breathing, even if he keeps blowing that dog breath straight at your nostrils? Or all the pretty, happy, brand new flowers even if you could do without all the pollen? The more I follow Jesus, the closer I get to the Lord, the more I seek His face, the more I know His love, the more I study His Word, the more I cozy up to Him in periods of just-me-and-Him quiet time (minus a few barks and other random noises in the midst of it), the more I find myself thankful for all that I have spent decades taking for granted. Like this.

photo courtesy of Maddox74 via Pixabay

Like my veterinarian bending down to kiss my sweet dog goodbye just days ago as he gave him the injection to send him to heaven. Like the woman at the beach who just lost her husband taking the time to engage in conversation with me and to offer to help me with something even though she doesn’t know me and is in the thick of grieving. Like the woman several months ago that sent two donations to my ministry while explaining that she is a single mom raising kids and living paycheck to paycheck. Like the fact I prayed God would get rid of the mice in my house, and He did. Little things. Big things. All sorts of things. Things to be grateful for. Thankful. Like this.

Like the apple. I love apples. Love them so much I’ve thought a bunch of times about asking my friends up north to send me boxes of them. The good kind. Right off the trees. From apple country. I’ve taken apples for granted most of my life. And a whole lot more than apples have I taken for granted. But I got to thinking as I bit into the apple. People all over the world are starving. And I get to eat apples, and all sorts of other things, too. Someone planted an apple tree. And an orchard. And picks those apples off the trees. Someone boxes them up and ships them. Someone works at the grocery store. All sorts of time, and love, and care, and sweat, and labor, went into that apple, or apples in general anyway. In fact, I thought not too long ago that the apples I eat (and I eat lots of them) go all the way back to the Book of Genesis in the Bible when God created trees and fruit and made it so that the fruit trees would produce more fruit trees, more of their kind. And what have I done most of my life? Taken pretty much everything for granted, or most of it anyway.

So I can only imagine someone would laugh his or her head off about my new-found thanksgiving over something as simple, and small, and ephemeral, as an apple. But why? There are people starving who would give anything for an apple. And the truth of the matter is that I’m not just grateful for apples. I’m grateful for all sorts of stuff now. Like toilets and running water. Like enough money to pay for gas, and a super old car that still gets me places. Like friends who care. Oh, how I could go on – and on. For I have learned that the more I love the Lord, the more thankful I am for all of His endless blessings. So in the grand scheme of things, maybe an apple isn’t as big as other stuff. Like this.

Like God. Because the greatest blessing of all, the thing for which I am the most thankful of all, isn’t the apple. Or the flushing toilet. Or the little house. Or a good night’s sleep. Or a winter coat. Oh, sure, I am exceedingly grateful for all this. But nothing compares, when it comes to my thanksgiving, to the love of my life. The Lord! He is the giver of all good gifts, for which I am at last grateful. But none of these gifts, no matter how valuable, come close to being as precious as the Giver Himself. My God!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. – James 1:17 NASB

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