November 12, 2019

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, which included parades, solemn ceremonies in cemeteries, restaurants giving veterans free meals, Facebook remembrances, and the media reporting on the sacrifices made by those who stood in harm’s way to keep us safe. The only thing out of the norm was that there were no cookouts because of the bitterly cold weather that suddenly swept across the country.

Today, most of us return to the normal routines of life and won’t think again about the young men and women serving our country until next year. This got me thinking.

This morning, a soldier on patrol in Afghanistan is fighting in a war that started before he was born, a seaman will sit at her station on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific and miss her child’s birthday, a sailor on a Coast Guard frigate in the Gulf of Mexico will be searching for drug smugglers, a pilot will be flying an F-16 over the Persian Gulf, and a Marine on an amphibious assault ship will be performing routine maintenance on his weapons and hoping he never has to use them. For each of them, their sacrifice on our behalf continues and most of us will simply take them for granted.

As you start to meet the challenges of a new day, take a moment to ask God to help you see the many blessings that we often take for granted, never see, or appreciate. Our wonderful servicemen and women are just one of the ways God continually blesses our lives.

Clara H. Scott (1841-1897) wrote the wonderful hymn, Open My Eyes, That I May See. In these beautiful words, she is asking God to make her truly aware of the continual blessings God has placed in her life.

The first verse says:

Open my eyes, that I may see

glimpses of truth thou hast for me;

place in my hands the wonderful key

that shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for thee,

ready, my God, thy will to see.

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Just as Ananias removed the scales from Paul’s eyes so that he could truly see, God wants us to do the same. (Acts 9:18) Part of that means not taking for granted the blessings in life. Our veterans are just one of the innumerable blessings that make life wonderful.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, I have gone through most of my life oblivious to the many blessings you shower upon me. Please forgive my ignorance and self-centeredness. Help me to truly see how blessed I am. And help me to live a life that pleases you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Today you will encounter many blessings. Don’t take them for granted.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins