I started writing weekly articles and submitting them in August of 1998. During this stretch of time, I have been mindful to give timely shout-outs to our military and local frontline service groups usually two times a year, particularly as it involves Veteran’s Day. Our veterans and service groups are very much appreciated for what they do on our behalf.
But, last week, I forgot to write an appreciation article. As I prayerfully contemplated about what I should write at the beginning of the week, writing about the upcoming Veteran’s Day recognition simply slipped my thinking.
I want to say to you, “I’m sorry.”
The reason I am sorry about it is because what you have done and are doing is too important to be ignored or forgotten. We need to express appreciation to you. You have put so much of yourself on the line that we might be safe. Our country is so great according to how God has motivated you to serve, and that you serve. The least we can do is to celebrate you purposely and proactively.
But, at this point, there is a significant spiritual sidebar to consider. It has to do with recognition of God. For, do we not often forget to recognize what He has done and does on our behalf? The Psalmist says that we should not forget all His benefits, but we forget quite regularly.
After all, He is the Source and Supplier of all that we have. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, it is He who puts food on our tables. It is He who puts clothes on our backs. It is He who keeps a roof over our heads. It is He who provides comforts for our daily living. It is He who blesses with material surpluses. The least we can do is to thank Him profusely, and to celebrate Him purposely and proactively daily.
And, do not forget that He “heals all our diseases,” the Psalmist reminds us. Terry and I encountered an acquaintance recently who had had a certain surgery not long ago. There had been a serious problem suddenly discovered. As the account was related, this person kept giving the Lord thanks for His watch care. Terry and I were blessed to hear about the healing and the thankful credit given to God. Open thankfulness to God blesses people.
The Scripture says, “This is a day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” The Lord certainly makes every day, but then He allows us to have a part in it. That is something to be thankful for, particularly when He sees fit to bless us with overcoming health issues with added life.
Furthermore, He has provided a great salvation for each of us at great personal cost. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, He loved us so greatly that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for our sins so that we might have the opportunity of receiving His great gift of eternal life.
He followed that up with the Resurrection of His Son, and is following that up with divine intercession at God’s right hand through His Son. You cannot beat with a stick all that God is doing for us spiritually! The least we can do is to thank Him profusely, and to celebrate Him purposely and proactively daily.
The only problem with many is that doing so easily slips the mind. And, the reason may be because we are too wrapped up in getting the benefits rather than being mindful about our Benefactor. If that is the case, it most assuredly must change.
So, when we realize that we have failed to recognize the One who benefits us so well, it would be well to tell Him, “I’m sorry,” too.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.