This year I have had severe back pain and gout; both left me literally crawling around the floor in abject agony. You may know what that is like. Or do you? Looking back, it's hard to remember just how painful those episodes were or even what it felt like.
That's how it is for the bad stuff, but be honest we also do that with the good stuff too. We so easily forget. Psalm 103:2 says: "Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me".
This week Phil gets married (he's our son) . So allow me these moments to remember some of the amazing times God has been there for him. In 1998 Phil joined a team of church planters in Wolverhampton that Ann and I were leading. He had just returned to God from a time away and joined two lads from Northern Ireland and a girl from the Midlands. They moved into a flat, on one of the worst areas of the city, to reach out to the single mums, prostitutes and drug users. The others all joined the team with financial support; Phil had none. He tells of having bills to pay with no money and of laying his hands on the paper bills and asking God for help, reminding God that he was there because that was where God had called him. Every time God sent the money often pushed through the door to the flat in envelopes and NO it wasn't us.
Years later, Phil married and lived in Liverpool with two kids and one more on the way; he was a taxi driver working 16 hour days to pay the rent on the cab and earn enough to live. They were living in a run down rented house trying to survive. One day his wife and kids were at church when a camera crew arrived saying they were doing a documentary following a shepherd from a small rural village who comes to Liverpool. Phil and the family invited him, a rather scruffy individual, to Sunday lunch and befriend the man and the camera crew. After a week or so they had a visit from him dressed in a hand made suit as he explained that he was the first in a new TV show "The Secret Millionaire" and although he did have sheep he was extremely wealthy. He saw Phil's need to have a home and on the spot wrote a cheque for £10,000 as a deposit on a house and paid all the purchased costs. Phil still has the house today. Life has had its ups and downs, and although now divorced, Phil is serving God and about to start a new chapter in his life when he marries Nicci this weekend.
You see, miracles do happen. But in the pain and troubles of life we forget. Every one of us can look back to times when God was there for us in amazing ways. We just need to remember. What He did once, He can do again. Take time today, regardless of how you feel, to remember the blessings that you have received at His hands and give him thanks.
"Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me."