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Today I am surrounded by beauty. Autumn quietly proclaims its Maker. The blue of the sky … the rich color of the leaves … the crispness of the air … All of them remind me of how fortunate I am to have eyes and ears and a nose to take in all of this beauty. I could be imprisoned in a hospital or a prison cell, but I am free to move about with relative ease and enjoy my surroundings.

You may laugh at this, but I take walks in the house, circling around and around through the lovely rooms for at least ten minutes at a time. And there is no lack of beauty here. This house is the prettiest one I have ever lived in. My daughter, who is an excellent decorator, changes the decorations in each room to reflect the seasons. There are high ceilings, lots of windows through which to view pots of colorful flowers out on the patio, and books and paintings galore.  Both indoors and outdoors I am surrounded by exquisite beauty.

The people I live with are amazing. My patient husband, my beautiful daughter and her kind husband surround me with love and kindness. Everything I need and more is provided. Beautiful music is playing from the CD player as I think on these things.

I don’t deserve any of this. I could be content in a little log cabin without all of these lavish provisions. But God has chosen to bless me with extra perks in my senior years. When I think of Paul being content in a prison, I wonder if I would be content and joyful in his circumstances. Even now, when I’m facing sleep (or lack of sleep) issues and pain problems, why should I become angry and frustrated? These are trifles compared with the serious trials faced by many Christians around the world.

Well, today I am counting my blessings and would challenge you to do the same. Find a quiet place to reflect and meditate on some Bible verses that remind you of God’s goodness. James 1:17 is one of my favorites. “Every good endowment that we possess and every complete gift that we have received must come from above, from the Father of all lights, with whom there is never the slightest variation or shadow of inconsistency. By his own wish he made us his own sons through the Word of truth that we might be, so to speak, the first specimens of his new creation” (J. B. Phillips).

What are some of your favorites? Are you being surrounded by God’s beauty, God’s love, and God’s provision? Doesn’t that outweigh any problems you might face?


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