by Dave Hudson, Major –
In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).
Yesterday [my wife] Sharron and I had the privilege of attending chapel service at the Addiction Treatment Services (ATS). Each time we attend services at any of our programs we go with the intent of being an encouragement and, hopefully, a blessing; yesterday was no different. However, like so many times, we are the ones who leave blessed, encouraged and re-focused on our ministry.
The highlight of the service was when five men performed a special worship sign language presentation to the song, “This is My Desire.” Words of the song include:
This is my desire: to honor You.
Lord, with all my heart, I worship You.
All I have within me, I give You praise
All that I adore is in You.
Lord, I give you my heart, I give you my soul; I live for you alone.
Every breath that I take, every moment I awake, Lord have Your way in me.
I must admit I had tears in my eyes as I watched the men signing to the words of the song. I thought to myself, “I wonder what the desires of those men were two months ago; certainly not honoring and worshipping God.” I know that each of them still has a long way to go in his recovery—but God believes in them. I thanked God as I sat there for those men, for the staff at ATS, and for God’s grace, mercy and encouragement.
There was a daylong celebration yesterday for the 6th Anniversary of the Waianae Ministry. The people have so little; however, they are willing to share whatever they do have. At one point during the afternoon, I sat and listened as a couple of the people shared of God’s blessings and how privileged they were (one was in a wheelchair and on oxygen); the other person also had significant health problems. Those two friends taught me some life lessons right there. God has certainly blessed our ministry on that part of the Island.
As I sat at home last night, I began to think of how fortunate I am. I have the opportunity to see God’s hand in the lives of many people. I am privileged to meet people whose lives have been put back together and who have experienced God’s restorative power. I see people, who the world says have nothing, and I know they have everything. And, most of all, know that God is at work in my life, as he has been before I was born, to live a life as an example of his grace.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Ephesians 1:3-4).