Just a quick post with some Mormon Monday thoughts. I am extremely tired this morning, going back to school for the first time in a week, for the first time since I brought my wife and baby home from the hospital. 7:00am came a bit early this morning. But things are going well. We’re doing fine. Little James is awake several times a night, needing fed, needing changed, needing to be held, but we’re mostly able to get a couple hours of sleep at a time.
It has been wonderful, though. We have had so much help, so many friends and family who have been a great support to us. I don’t think we give our friends enough credit for all that they do and the selfless way in which they do it. Thank you so very much.
And that leads me into the Mormon Monday idea I want to explore today: Giving God enough credit.
I don’t think we give God enough credit for all of the good that he does. Too often we only see the negative things that happen in our lives and we blame God for allowing these things to happen. But we do not always recognize all of the terrible things that do not happen to us, all of the things that God does prevent in our lives, simply because they do not happen. But how often have we prayed to get home safely — and we have? How often have we prayed to have a good day — and we have? Do we thank God for those times? Do we recognize that God was there, or do we assume that “nothing was going to happen anyway, I did this on my own.”
I also firmly believe that God is more willing to bless us than we believe. While many of us do not actually believe that we are “sinners in the hand of an angry God”, we believe that God punishes us for our sins. Now, that is true, there are consequences to our actions. But God is just as willing to bless us, more so even, I believe, than he is wanting to punish us. Sometimes he does not bless us until we ask him to, he waits, begging us to come to him. I believe that God want us to know him, to come to him, to recognize our need for him, so he allows us to come into situations where that need is evident.
One of my favorite examples of the innate goodness of God is the story of Abraham and Sodom and Gomorrah in the Book of Genesis. God comes to Abraham and tells him to leave the city since he is going to destroy the cities because of wickedness. Abraham’s first thought is not saving himself or his family, but saving the cities, and he begins to barter with God. He begs God to spare the city, claiming that surely he could find a hundred righteous men and God would not destroy these hundred men along with all of the wicked. God agrees not to destroy the cities if Abraham can find a hundred righteous men. Than Abraham gets nervous, and wonders what if he falls slightly short of a hundred, would God destroy the city if he only found ninety? No. And in this way, Abraham talks God down to ten. Ten men. If Abraham can find ten righteous men in the city, then God agreed not to destroy the city.
Now, why did God agree with Abraham’s request? Was Abraham such a great orator, an amazing rhetorician that he was able to convince God to lower the number of righteous men needed to spare the city? What was it about Abraham that changed God’s mind? I don’t think God changed his mind at all. I think God was always willing to spare the city, I think God wants to spare the city, if only he could find some reason to. Abraham provides God with that reason.
God wants to bless us, but sometimes we do not allow God to bless us. We do not give God enough opportunities to bless us. But I believe that God is always seeking for opportunities to bless us, to give us more than we are willing to give ourselves. And especially at this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, we need to take a moment and thank God for all that he has done for us. And give him a little more credit in blessing us. Give him opportunities to bless us and to bless others through us. God is good, God is great, God is love.