Awareness

The first hot days of summer are upon us and we spend most of our time either hiding indoors or in the water outdoors. It makes me think of when we lived in Las Vegas, NV and the brutal heat of summer started earlier in the year and lasted long into the fall. I remember the early morning walks I would take in the spring as I tried to “beat the heat” until I just gave up trying because it was a futile task. As soon as I stepped outside, even at 6 or 7 am in the morning, the air was already hot and thick. If I was desperate (and there were those days), I would rise before the sun did and talk a walk hoping for a predawn coolness and to maybe catch the sunrise over Red Rock Canyon.

Now we live in Northern California and the heat of the day starts slow, burns hottest in the early afternoon and tapers back down to a nice cool evening. I have never appreciated it as much as I do now. I am deliriously happy with the cool breezes of the morning because I know what it is like not to have them. I open my windows at night and am in awe of the fresh air flowing in because I remember a time when that was a ludicrous idea to open your windows at night. The summer heat of Las Vegas would wain in the dark of the night but only down to about 80 degrees or so. I grew up in California- this is not foreign weather to me, but I didn’t appreciate the delight of cool mornings and evenings until I lived in the desert.

When you have spent time in the desert, the lush valley is all the more beautiful. When you have been hollow and hungry, food tastes all the better. When you are desperately thirsty, there is nothing sweeter than pure water. When you don’t know what what your missing, you don’t appreciate what you have. But for those who have walked through the deserts, those who have been starved for loved and thirsty for healing, for those who have been miserably lost without God- they are the blessed ones who now have a heightened sense of awareness of all of the blessings of God’s redeeming presence.

“Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:4-9 NIV)

Let us not be so focused on all we didn’t have in the past that it steals the precious awareness of what we have now. In fact, it is the trial of our past that give us an appreciation of the blessings we have. Instead of always thinking you are the one who lacked, on the contrary, you might be one now who experiences your blessings more fully than others. It is a blessing greater than you could have ever imagined.

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