The Family Room

annie-spratt-294447-unsplashLuke 17:12 tells of the ten lepers who came to Jesus crying, “have mercy on us” and Jesus healed all ten. Only one of them returned to thank the Lord for healing him of a disease that under most circumstances was either a death sentence or would have left him and his friends ostracized from the rest of the community. While there are many teachings in this story, the main one is being thankful to the Lord for what He has done, and taking the time to tell Him.

The Lord has been gracious to all of us, if we attempted to itemize our blessing list, it would be extremely long and still incomplete. Nevertheless, I believe we should stop and reflect on the many good things bestowed upon us. God does not owe us anything – He is the very air that we breathe. Offering God a casual “thank you for everything” is often too general, routine and common. It’s easy to remember to say thanks for the big things and ignore or miss the daily bread miracles. On the other hand, if we purposely reflect on just one of our many blessings, we will see how blessed we really are and become specific in offering thanks to Jehovah Jireh, The God who Provides. God is pleased when we thank Him.

I thank God for my family room. Generally, people have a favorite room in their homes.  It is usually where people feel the most comfortable, tranquil and even creative. Family rooms focus on the purpose and function of the space, as well as the family and friends who will enjoy the area.  With Thanksgiving being just a day away, many families will be gathering to celebrate and this room will not be a side thought to the preparations, but an essential part of the festivities. Folks will meet at the front door, eat in the dining room and congregate in the family room.

Every aspect of my family room reminds me of the kindness of God, and for that, I am very appreciative. For instance, light dispels darkness; just looking around the room, light is cascading in from all angles, the sky lights, windows and lamps, and it reminds me that we have the comfort of the Lord all around us, and this room is an inviting presence when the family gathers.

Hopefully your room is like mine, full of tangible family memories. It is special because we have celebrated life and marked milestones. It has served as a dance floor, wedding chapel, recovery room, prayer closet, theatre to watch movies, sporting events and a host of tv movies. It has also been the overflow room when extra seating was needed for dinner guests, a play and toy room for my grandchildren, and also the art gallery to display family pictures that reflect our family’s culture and heritage. This space tells the family’s story well and sports the joy of family like a piece of fine jewelry.

Everything that we encounter in life is on purpose. God does not waste His time or ours.  The Bible tells us that God knows the plans that He has for us, they are plans for good and not evil to get us to an expected place. (Jeremiah 29:11 paraphrased)  When He builds, He is not unoriginal – He has a diagram. After all, He is the master builder and designer. When the Tabernacle was built, God was particular in the details – every color, dimension, type of wood, type of metals, the utensils, fabric etc.

While we do have our individual styles and tastes, the Kingdom process here is to pay attention to the details and choose with care because it does matter. I chose seating that is cushy and comfortable with durable colors, fashioned so that our grandsons would be free to play inside of our home without a lot of verbal, visible and invisible “do not touch” signs.  Speaking only for myself, buying new furniture every year is not an option, so it is important to guard what God gives to us.

Family is God’s idea and the family room is a great place to gather. I am eternally grateful for the nearest and dearest He has blessed me to be a part of, both my biological family and my family in Christ. I am thankful that my family room has been a good deposit – not of just material possessions – some are keepsakes but there is a legacy of love from and with my family that can be shared with future generations.

We all have a favorite room or space. The next time you enter into that room, view your blessings with a thankful eye and ask yourself – “what is in here that God has allowed to be a part of my life’s journey?” Then lift your hands in praise to the Lord and say thank you.

 A2U     Rev. Patricia Stewart is the President and CEO of Amen2U Ministries LLC  

Rev. Cynthia Jackson is the administrator of the Rhema4U Blog and the Program Manager of Innovations Ministries. Rev. Jackson is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was licensed and ordained under the tutelage of Bishop David G. Evans. She is an associate minister at Bethany Baptist Church located in Lindenwold, New Jersey. Rev. Jackson founded Innovations Ministries in 2001. Innovations Ministries provides dynamic and innovative programs and services for individuals and families dealing with various health-related issues. She is a gifted teacher, preacher, conference speaker and writer. God has anointed Rev. Jackson to be a spiritual midwife with a passion to empower others to birth God's vision for their lives. Rev. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Management from Eastern University, a Master of Science Degree in Health Administration from Saint Joseph's University and a Master of Science Degree in Christian Counseling from Cairn University. Reverend Jackson resides in Clementon, New Jersey.

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