Because of the long, physically demanding days that awaited me this week, I decided to retire early last night. As I turned the quilt back and felt the crisp coolness of fresh clean sheets against my skin, my heart filled with gratitude for the many, many, countless blessings I take for granted.  I parted the curtains and opened my window to the night breeze that has been cooler lately and gazed off towards the distant horizon.  The quiet serenity and beauty of the night sky was mesmerizing. The lights of a feedlot several miles away twinkled on the horizon like distant stars set against the growing darkness and I thought about how much there is to be thankful for in the time in which I live.

Many of us are enamored by the past and the much simpler lifestyle of our ancestors, but we forget the difficulties they faced and the hardships and challenges they had to overcome daily. Sometimes I think that although we may believe we yearn for the simpler lifestyle of the past, we are really yearning for a home that our hearts know, but our eyes have never seen. Were we granted our wish and suddenly transported through time, we may discover it was not exactly what we imagined and our longing remains unfullfilled.

Although I do wish life was simpler, I know God is sovereign and has birthed each of us for the time and place in which we live, and so I am thankful for the times and places that have been my privilege to pass through on this journey we call life. I am thankful for the conveniences that have been mine to take for granted and for the abundance with which even those who are considered poor in this country are blessed.

I know that we live in perilous times and my generation and my children’s generation face an economic crisis of epic proportions; there are wars and rumors of wars; drought and extreme weather threaten to disrupt our fragile system that is now so tightly interwoven that any major glitch would be felt by all, but were we not warned that such would be the case in all times as the earth groans under the deteriorating weight of sin and we wait anxiously for the blessed reappearing of our Lord and Savior.

I am thankful for both the time in which I live and the life with which I have been blessed.  Yet, my heart breaks when suffering touches those I love and I look at history and begin to get a tiny inkling of the suffering that has existed in all times, when death separates us from friends and beloved family, as hardships and perilous times threaten our life of ease and leisure, I find my love for this place waning. Although my heart is filled with gratitude for the blessings that are mine to enjoy, still I find that my eyes are often turned heavenward and I say like so many before me, “Come, Lord, Jesus, come.”