Seeing Past The Scratch
By: Kristen L. McNulty
In the spring of 2011 I did something that I'd be wanting to do for a long time: I bought my first vehicle. A new to me Honda CRV. Ever since I got it I've been diligent about cleaning it and bought all kinds of supplies to make this baby shine, everything from spray to make the tires stay black and shiny to wipes for the dash to special soap for the outside of the body. I got it in such great condition and I had every intention of keeping it that way.
But there was one thing I didn't account for and that was vandals. One night someone decided they wanted to pry open my gas tank. While they were unsuccessful, whatever they used to try and open it completely gouged the paint.
When I discovered it I was pretty upset. I mean I had tried so hard to take care of this thing and here someone went and ruined my efforts. It didn't seem fair. And so suddenly my perspective shifted. Where before I'd look at my suv with a thankful heart, suddenly my eyes couldn't see past the scratches. Every time I'd glance at this thing in the driveway, everytime I got behind the wheel, instead of being thrilled to the max, my joy was tempered because of what someone did to one small part of the paint.
Isn't that human nature in a nutshell? How often do we have everything going for us and we're so thankful, but then all it takes is one "scratch" and we can't see past it. Instead of counting our blessings we stay focused on the one thing we wish wasn't there.
I don't know about you but I'm tired of looking at life this way. We have so much to be thankful for, I want to embrace those things instead of letting my heart focus on the few things that are less than perfect.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 teaches us to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Notice the verse doesn't say give thanks when life is good. Or give thanks when you're rich or healthy or at the top of your game. No, it says give thanks in all circumstances. Because even when our circumstances are less than ideal, after what God did for us by sending His Son Jesus, we truly have so much to be thankful for.
So today when I look at my SUV, I'm choosing to see past the scratch. And today when I think about what I have and what I don't, I'm choosing to give thanks to God, from whom I've received more than I ever could deserve or even ask for.
"Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift." (2 Corinthians 9:15)
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