Taken for Granted

Like so many places in our city, we have experienced power outages, not because of load shedding but because of the lack of maintenance. As an example, last week on Friday and Saturday we were without electricity because a sub-station in Centurion was hit by a thunderstorm cutting of power to large parts of the city.

On Monday morning this week, the houses opposite us reported that they were without electricity from early in the morning. Apparently, someone said they saw sparks on the overhead cabling. After being without power all day, everyone lost power in the late afternoon for about five hours as the maintenance team put off the power to repair the fault.

This morning, I completed all the work I could as I had an appointment near midday. At 10am I decided to shave and shower, only to find the water running very slowly. Apparently all the water was switched off in our area. I needed to shower … fortunately, I was busy filling a 20 liter water dispenser bottle with filtered water. This was about 4/5ths full when the water went off. I had also filled about 1/3 of a small basin with what I could get out of the hot and cold taps in the bathroom. Ours is a shower/bath, so I closed the curtain and whilst standing in the bath I poured the content of the basin over my head … by now I was fully awake! It was a shocking experience … cold water.

I washed my hair and body and, when covered in soap I wiped the soap out of my eyes, poured water from the dispenser bottle into a plastic jug … and jug by jug I rinsed my hair and washed all the soap off my body. Whilst drying myself, I said to Jenny that it’s so easy to take water and electricity for granted as so many of our people do not have these “luxuries”. Jenny added that so many don’t even have hot water.

I recall a visiting preacher from Texas asking the question when teaching on prayer, “Did you thank God for your toothbrush this morning?” We can become so used to what we have that we can’t visualize those who do not have what we have … and by this I’m talking about the basic necessities such as water, electricity, soap, toothpaste, etc. How many have to walk long distances for water? How many have to walk long distances to find dry wood they can cut and take home to boil water and cook food? What about transport? How many have to walk more than 5 kilometers to get a train or taxis to take them to work? Think of the early start they make in the morning … some leave home by 3.30am. Again … how often do we take our “luxuries” for granted … and sadly, sometimes we become so “entitled”. We could be like this spiritually as well!

We might take our salvation for granted. It’s so easy to forget who we are … and when we do so, we forget what we are in Jesus Christ, and this might affect our lifestyle and behaviour. Peter reminds us:

1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Because of the Blood sacrifice of Jesus … this is what and who we are. Let’s never take it for granted. We might take God’s Word for granted. Our road map for life is God’s precious Word. So often we don’t use it or don’t use it properly.

Heb 5:11 you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

You know the saying … “You don’t know what you have until you don’t have what you have.” Will you miss the Bible should the Bible be banned and taken away from you in our country? We might take prayer for granted. James writes:

Jas 4:2 You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Prayer is not for when we suffer with the “gimme disease”! God give me this and God give me that. True prayer acknowledges who God is and, when asking, asks with the right motive … which is to bring glory to Him. We might take church and other graces for granted. God has mercifully given us the Church … which is His Body … meaning His people. The gathered people of God enjoy His presence in a special, intimate manner. Why is it that so many of His people seek ways to avoid being amongst His people as His Church? It is here that His graces are dispensed in abundance!

We might take Christian Fellowship for granted. In two different phone calls, I was chatting to two church ladies today. I have never met them, though by what they speak about and how they speak, the love of God radiates the conversation. They both live in old aged homes and even though we are at level 1 lock down, they remain in lock down. They cannot receive guests, not even a pastoral visit. They cannot have church or partake in the Lord’s Supper. They are frustrated and even angered by being in lock down for almost one year. I cannot even start to picture how they feel. The one spoke about a lady in the room next to hers who needed a shoulder to cry on this morning because this lock down had gotten to her. Apart from God being present when His people meet, we need each other. Fellowship expresses our dependency, love and commitment to each other. Think back to the days of level 3, 4 and 5 lock down. Did you miss fellowshipping with your eternal family? We should long for this.

Lord, as we call upon You as Father we are reminded that You as Father means we are Your family, and in turn we are family to each and every true believer in Christ. Please help us to never take for granted all the graces You have mercifully provided for us as we travel through this life to glory. Help us to enjoy as we participate. Amen.

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