I have started reading the book, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. I have only read chapter 1, but I am really enjoying it. If you feel like you need a book to encourage you to recognize God's goodness in all circumstances, then this is for you. I wanted to take out a few quotes to flush out here on the blog, so I have a way to come back to them as I read. Hopefully, they will encourage you even if you never read the book in its entirety.
On page 15 she talks about Adam and Eve. "Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin on ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave. Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins?"
I found so much depth to this simple statement. Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins - ungratefulness? I can make a choice at any point to either be grateful for all He's given or ungrateful for all that has been taken away. Adam and Eve were allowed to eat off of any tree but one. Why were they ungrateful for that? Why did they think God was withholding something from them? Don't I do the same thing each and ever minute? I want to choose gratitude because I know that is how I can edify my relationship with the Lord.
In another section of the chapter Ann talks about her brother-in-law and his wife. They lost two baby boys at 4 and 5 months old. She has a conversation with him about the goodness of God. She tells him that she would have written the story differently for him. He tells her, "Just that maybe . . . maybe you don't want to change the story, because you don't know what a different ending holds."
Again, it just made me think. How could someone who has lost two children to a horrible disease have this thought process? He compares it to the story of King Hezekiah in the Bible. He asks for 15 more years of life, and God grants it. In those 15 years Manasseh is born, and he is the one who leads the Israelites to do more evil than all the heathen nations around them. We don't know how the story would be different, and aren't we thankful for that? We should be. It gives me a totally different perspective on so many things.
This chapter reminds me of the song, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord. "He gives and takes away . . . but my heart will choose to say, blessed be the name of the Lord."