Take Nothing for Granted

  A congregation member told me that his mentally challenged sister couldn’t talk or walk or feed herself.  She needed constant attention.  Growing up, he and his other family members helped take care of her.  They learned to distinguish among their sister’s cries, which were her only way to communicate.  There was a hunger cry and a cry for when she wanted to get up and a cry for when she wanted to go to bed, and another cry for when she was thirsty.

    The most difficult cry was the sound she made when she had an itch.  You see, she couldn’t tell them where she felt the itch, so they would go all over her body scratching and scratching, trying to alleviate that itch.

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    Living with his handicapped sister helped this man appreciate the simple things in life that so many of us take for granted.  Scratching an itch is no big deal, until you can’t.  Then it becomes a very significant matter indeed.  It’s a big deal that we tell our arms to work, and they work.  It’s a big deal that we open our eyes, and without even thinking about it, we see.

    When you get up in the morning and you’re tempted to dwell on your problems—how you don’t want to go to work and how life’s not been fair to you—why don’t you turn that around?  Instead, thank God that you can scratch your itch.  Why don’t you thank God that you have no problem breathing?  Why don’t you look out the window and appreciate the simple things like the sun coming up, the birds singing, and the flowers blooming?

    There is nothing ordinary about being able to see, having friends, or having family.  Those are gifts from God.  Too often we don’t realize how great we have it until something is taken away.  I used to play basketball with a young man named Matt until he started having a problem with his eyes.  He had always been very healthy and very active, but his eyes kept bothering him, so he went to the doctor.  After several tests, they told Matt that he had cancer of the eye.  The doctor said there was a very good chance he would lose his vision.

    Matt was so distraught and upset.  He went in for an operation, and, to the doctor’s surprise, they discovered Matt did not have eye cancer.  Instead, they found an unusual fungus behind his eye that was affecting his eyesight.  They removed it and saved his vision.

    When Matt woke up from the operation and heard that his vision was restored, he said, “This is the greatest day of my life.”  Think about it.  He didn't just win the lottery.  He didn’t just buy a big new house.  He didn’t just get a promotion.  He simply got the news that his vision was back to normal.

    After his eyesight was restored.  Matt told me, “Every day I get up in the morning and on purpose I look around.  I stare at my children and my wife.  I go outside and look at the trees.  I bend down and pick up an acorn on the ground.”

    Because Matt almost lost his vision, being able to see normally has taken on a whole new meaning for him.  He will never again take his eyesight for granted.  He will be forever grateful for the gift of sight.

    How things changed for Matt when he thought he might lose something as “routine” and “normal” as vision.  You and I should never take for granted what God has given us.  If you can see, if you can hear, if you can walk, if you’ve got good health, family, friends, and a good job, learn to appreciate each of those gifts.  Amen!

Have an Appreciative Thankful Blessed day! :)

…His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.—Lamentations 3:22-23

Remember to be most appreciative for His forgiveness sacrificed on the cross, so that we can live for eternity with Him.

Steve Coltrain grew up in Middletown. Graduated from University of South Florida-Business Marketing. Director of Business Development at Stevens Communications- a Telecommunications/Technology Consulting Company. Aside from Co-founding Hope for Children NJ, Steve volunteers time at Middletown United Methodist Church playing drums, Youth Program and Missions. Coached Wall Pop Warner and Wall Travel and Rec Baseball. Steve’s philosophy, “Teach a man a rule and you help him solve a problem; teach a man to walk with God and you help him solve the rest of his life.”