recently, my Hubs and i were all snuggled into our living room with the gas stove on, blissed out on all-day football consumption and feeling pretty fat and sassy. we were a little low on the trail mix we like to make ourselves, so Hubs went to the kitchen to gather ingredients and mix up a big bowl's worth. he came back, arms loaded with supplies, what seemed like dozens of pounds worth of bagged Sam's Club loot: mixed nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, mixed dried fruits, Ghirardelli chocolate chips. and all of a sudden, i was breathless. "We are SO RICH."
the weight of our blessed lives nearly knocked me to the floor. trail mix? really? we don't even consider it food, really. good enough to stave off hunger for a half an hour while dinner's cooking, or as a little treat after lunch, sure. but what we consider a mere snack some people on this planet would kill for. sure, we might have nearly 6-year-old cell phones that don't even take photos. and we might mostly use hand-me-down computers. and we don't even have cable! but we have trail mix. and look at how much of it we have! bags and bags and bags of nourishment, and that doesn't even compare to what's in the rest of the kitchen.
it happens a lot that in times of suffering, the things we are so grateful for become so much more obvious. but sometimes we don't even need to experience times of little to be awakened to how much we're blessed.
this is going to bother a lot of you, i can tell already. the Hubs and i do alright on the income front, and we're very conscious of how blessed we've been with good jobs and a comfortable standard of living. lots of you are probably bitterly muttering, "duh." and i could probably go on and on about how everyone struggles with finances, regardless of their situation. how we have certainly had our share of challenges, and how we've worked very hard to handle our finances wisely and responsibly. how politicians have skewed the statistics in their favor, making divisive labels that prey on everyone's general dissatisfaction with how much money they have (or sometimes, their perception of how much money they have.) i could say all those things, but i'll spare you the defensiveness, that sort of attitude would muddy the waters.*
the point is, none of it is really ours. we're just managers of God's things. and just as He once trusted us with little, He's trusting us with more and more each day. and the responsibility of that has been heavy on my heart lately. so heavy. the scriptures are packed with reminders about the dangers of trusting in one's own wealth, and certainly those verses are never far from my mind. but more than anything, especially in the midst of this holiday season, i'm so thankful. for how we've been blessed materially, for the wisdom (not of ourselves) to be good stewards, for the things we're able to give others and in doing so, point to the God who made it all possible and who tells us to take care of each other. and i'm also supremely joyful that i've been given this opportunity to know how much we have, and to still be so, so thankful.
have you even been just knocked down by a reminder of all your blessings? ... or do i need to get out of my head and into the world a bit more often? ;)
* Also, please do not receive any of this as boasting, for i have a healthy fear of God, and know that He has to say about these things. In Jeremiah, for example:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight.”