But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Some time ago, our family was vacationing at Camp Arcadia on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.
As is the custom there, we gathered on the patio to watch the sunset. It was a magnificent spectacle filled with an ever-transforming kaleidoscope of reds and golds, purples, pinks and grays. As much as we enjoyed what we were seeing, another man seemed to be enjoying it far more. His face showed that he was savoring and soaking in every moment.
He didn't stop watching until the last glow had faded. Of course, by then, most of us had become bored and had turned our attention to this man who so obviously was thrilled, through and through, by the beauty of it all.
Finally, someone, not me, but someone else, asked him, "You certainly enjoyed that sunset. We were wondering is it possible you are an artist?"
The man laughed and replied, "An artist? Not hardly. I'm a self-employed plumber, but I was blind for five years. Sunsets like that are a bonus for me, a reminder of the very special, extra gifts we have received from the Lord and His Son's sacrifice to redeem me."
Over the years, I've come to believe this man was not alone in being able to see God's extra gifts.
Most certainly, there are many of us who once were blind, but now have been given faith and are able to see. We who were once in darkness now live in the light of the Lord.
We have been moved from darkness into light because God's Son willingly became the heaven-designated Sacrifice who has rescued us. Now by the Holy Spirit's action, saving faith has been placed into our hearts and everything ought to be seen in a different way.
You know, things like a cold beer on a hot day; a baby's laugh; buttered popcorn, and a comfortable fitting pair of jeans. Things like finding money in the pocket of your winter coat, and the elevator opening right after you push the button. Things like fresh sheets; a snowfall you don't have to shovel; a dog who is glad to see you; a phone call from a long-lost friend; opening your hymnbook to the right hymn; hearing a compliment when the speaker didn't know you were listening; the Milky Way on a crisp night; getting an A on a test when you thought you'd be lucky to get a C. Things like ... SOME OF YOUR OWN CAN BE FILLED IN HERE _______________________ .
Live your life as a thanksgiving witness to those who are still in the dark, those who are still stumbling around without any hope. Let your face and bearing reflect the joy that is within you, the beauty which surrounds you, because of the extra gifts of God.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks I can see and appreciate Your amazing grace. "Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; 'tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home." For all Your grace-filled gifts, I give thanks in Jesus' Name. Amen.
(Thanks to John Newton who authored the hymn "Amazing Grace." Verses 1 and 3 appear above.)
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries