Over the past few weeks we have seen a major financial crisis start to hit. It has been a time when the stock markets across the world are taking major hits, banks and other businesses are struggling, and people are very worried about how they are going to make it. It is a scary time for many people.
This is also the time when many churches, including the one I serve, are approving budgets or spending plans for the next year. As you may imagine, many are nervous about how these budgets will be viewed.
But with me just returning from leave, I am looking at life a little differently. It is not that I am unaware of the struggles of the economy or unaware of the fears that are out there, but rather, I still see blessings. My eyes have been opened, once again, to the multitude of gifts that I have been given in my life, and these gifts are such great bessings to me that they overshadow the struggles we all are facing.
So today I would like to invite you to spend a little time reflecting on the blessings you have in your life.
First, think about your friends and family. Think about all of the things that these people give to you - love, support, a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on, their loving presence in your life. These people are blessings for they are involved in your life in intimate ways and bless you with love and support throughout your life.
Second, think about the talents you have been given in your life - the things you are good at, the things you are passionate about and love to do. These talents are blessings for they help to give you purpose and in using them you live out your calling.
Finally, think about the God that loves you. He is the one who walks with you during the difficult times in life. He carries you when you cannot make it on your own. And his is willing to give everything he has, including his own life, so that he may be in a relationship with you.
When we think about these things, and the many blessings we have been given, we are reminded that no matter how difficult the storms in life are, we are still blessed. We are still loved. We are still needed and cared for. So may we all trust that God will provide for us, and that God will continue to bless us, even, or maybe especially, in the midst of our struggles.