19 Gifts

I grew up in a rural community in Brasil. At the time we were one of the few houses that had electricity in our community. My mum and I got home one time after some time away and a vulture had managed to somehow electrocute itself on our transformer so all our power had gone. My dad was away so couldn’t help, we were without a fridge, lights, phone, or computer – and the water in our pipes would soon run out as there was no power to pump it into our tank – and to top it all off our car had broken down on the way home so we had got back in a taxi and now that had left and we had no way of going to our local town for more food.

At one point a local guy wandered past and my mum saw him staring up at the vulture in curiosity. It struck her that this man had never had electricity, let alone a fridge, running water or a car! We were in a panic about losing things that loads of people around us lived daily without!

It’s interesting how it takes losing things to appreciate them.

I’ve never felt so pleased to see our supermarket delivery man! Even if it was from further away than we normally chat!

I felt challenged when I read this verse in

Ephesians 5:20

That encourages us to:

“Always give thanks for everything to God the Father.”

I was thinking about everything that has changed, stopped or that is unavailable – but then I caught myself: Actually, there are lots of people around the world that don’t have access to these things normally. It woke me up to how our lives are so packed full of gifts – even now when a lot has stopped or is out of stock.

Maybe today we could follow the example of many of those who have found themselves at the epicentre of this pandemic – including one lady in Wuhan, Rebecca Arendell Franks, who felt challenged to write a list of all the good things that had come from this time as opposed to what she had been posting on Facebook up till that point which had focussed on the hardships and devastating things going on around her.

Both have a place.

But I wonder whether today we could take a few minutes to write down 19 gifts in our lives despite or due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rebecca wrote on facebook:

“God is caring for us so richly and showering us with SO MUCH GOOD each and every moment.”

Let’s be a people that “Always (even when, or especially when, there’s a pandemic causing chaos around us) give thanks for everything to God the Father.”


18th March 2020