Take time to recognize God’s abundant blessings

I ate way too much last night. Americans have this idea that British food is strange, right? Well, it’s not. There may be some strange things here, but hey, we have deep fried Twinkies.

Last night, we had a ladies evening at a restaurant here in Carlisle called The Dutch Uncle. The way the deal had been set up was really fantastic. You came in and sat down with your group, and they just kept bringing food out family style until you couldn’t eat anymore. Pizzas and nachos and platters of meats and cheeses. Pasta with mussels and clams. Olives and fried chicken thighs. And just when we would finish one plate of food, they’d bring another one out.

For two hours. One plate after another. And I couldn’t help but compare the experience to God’s blessings.

Us at the Dutch Uncle last night (photo credit to the marvelous Mona Bops)

Us at the Dutch Uncle last night (photo credit to the marvelous Mona Bops)

Today’s verse is John 1:16.

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

Sometimes God’s blessings are hard to recognize. Sometimes they’re obvious. But whether we actually recognize them or not, they’re abundant. They range from the generic but beautiful sunrises and sunsets to specific answers to specific requests.

We don’t deserve any of them, but God gives them away freely, expecting nothing of us in return. We can’t earn His blessings, but we can be in a position to experience them. That’s the only part that’s up to us. And even when we don’t make the wisest choices, God is still blessing us in small ways, which we choose not to notice most of the time.

Just like those plates of food that kept coming to our table at the Dutch Uncle, God’s blessings just keep coming. Over and over again. But unlike a meal, you never get tired of God’s blessings.

What was really interesting to me last night was that while I was chewing on a delightfully fried chicken thigh, I was having conversations with six British women who’d come to join us. Six wonderful women who are friends with my best friend, who has been living over here for nearly a year now.

I had prayed specifically that God would provide a group of friends in Carlisle for her to fit into, and last night I got to see exactly how God had answered that prayer. And I was so thankful.

What’s a blessing that God has given you today? How about a second blessing? Or a third? He hands them out all over the place, so sometimes they’re easy to miss. But take a moment and recognize them, because He doesn’t have to bless us. He just does. Because He’s that awesome.