Ariel Castro pleaded guilty this week to multiple charges stemming from his unlawful abduction and imprisonment of three women, that will result in his imprisonment for the rest of his natural life. Among the charges he pled guilty to was aggravated murder-of the unborn child in the womb of one of the women. By his repeated beating of the woman, Castro caused her to miscarry and thus one of the greatest gifts given by our loving God was squandered by a sick individual. We can only pray that Ariel Castro may come to know, love and ultimately serve the God whose gifts he was so bent on rejecting.
It makes me wonder how many of us take the time to thank our heavenly Father for the gifts he lavishes upon us. We awaken in the morning to a new day, our hearts pump blood, enriched with oxygen from our lungs. Our brains transmit instructions to our arms, legs, hands and fingers so we are able to swing out of bed, wash and dress ourselves, make and eat breakfast, walk to the bus or drive to work and carry on with our day. We are able to do all of this at the pleasure of God the Father. So, I pose the question: How many of us pause in our morning routines to give thanks to God the Father for the ordinary gifts he gives? We need only to look at someone facing the challenge of a missing arm or leg, someone struggling with pulmonary disease, needing an oxygen tank to live. Read the stories of people whose lives are changed in an instant to a life of dependence and limitations. Perhaps we should remember the words of Job: “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away, blessed be the name of the LORD.”
The greatest gift given by our God is the gift of his only begotten son, our Savior Christ Jesus, who gave himself as the perfect sacrifice to buy us back from sin and eternal separation from God. Yet even this gift is disdained, mocked, believed to be too good to be true. It is to these people that Yeshua spoke these words recorded in John 12:48: Those who reject me and do not accept my message have one who will judge them, the words I have spoken will be their judge on the last day.” Let’s adopt an attitude of gratitude and instead of griping “Good God, morning”, let us greet our maker and say “Good morning God.”