Taken for Granted – To value someone or something too lightly
We tend to take so many things for granted; the very breath we breathe, the beauty of nature, the sound of a child’s laughter, good health, plenty of food, a warm abode in the winter and a nice, cool refuge from the sweltering heat of summer.
I never stop and think, “I wonder if water will come out of the faucet when I turn it on.” When I flip a light switch I never question if the room will be illuminated. When I press start on the dishwasher I never cross my fingers and toes and hope it works. I don’t even think about it.
When I start my car I just assume it will fire right up. Actually, the thought of it not starting never enters my mind.
Until it doesn’t.
I remember an ice/snow storm in my home state of GA back in the early 70’s. It was a typical almost-end-of-winter Friday and I, a member of the JV basketball team, was excited because we had an away game and then I was going home with my BFF, Mary Katherine, for the weekend.
After lunch that day we were notified that a winter storm was on the way and the game had to be canceled. We were mystified because it was sunny and kind of warm.
I went on home with my friend after school and by that night we had ourselves a blizzard and by the next morning there was a foot of snow on top of a blanket of ice and no electricity. And I had two changes of clothing and my friend was short and tiny and I was tall and not so tiny.
My friend lived way out in the country (or so it seemed back then) and it was a week before those dirt roads were passable. What was to be a weekend visit turned into a week long vacation.
People laugh at how the south closes down when we get a drop of snow and all the stores sell out of bread and milk. But they don’t realize that we are not equipped for snow at all. I’ve never even held a snow shovel.
I still take electricity for granted, until a storm takes it out.
At times, we take people for granted: parents, spouses, children. We just think they will always be around.
Until they’re not.
I will never forget the day my maternal grandmother died. I was 17. We had lived up the road from her until I was 12 and our house burned to the ground. You can read all about The Day the Music Died here! We were always close and she instilled many words of wisdom into my life. I will always cherish her wedding ring that was passed down to my aunt and then on to me.
I didn’t think I could go on living after she departed from this earth. But I did.
And then later, when my paternal grandmother passed away, I went through all those same emotions again.
James 4:14 – Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].
I think we sometimes take God and His finished work for granted.
Another memory that will always be fresh in my mind is the day I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. I had joined the church when I was 12. You can read all about that little escapade here. But I accepted Jesus, once and for all, in Jacksonville Florida at the age of 21.
I still recall how emotional I was. I cried the entire weekend. I was just so happy. I was a new creature in Christ.
I’ve never questioned my salvation since. It’s a done deal.
But what about my relationship with the Lord? What about when I don’t feel like God is there?
First of all, I don’t walk by feelings and I know that God’s word teaches me to draw close to God, and in turn, he will draw close to me (James 4:8).
My Bible also teaches me that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). He never changes.
So when I find myself taking God for granted, I know I need to work on my relationship with him. You can’t have a close relationship without fellowship.
God is perfect. I am not. So it’s always my end that needs work, not his.
On this faithful Friday I’m taking a deep breath and thanking God for the very air I breathe and I’m spending time in his word and in prayer.
When I fellowship with my father, I get to know him better and I’m changed from glory to glory. I was created to praise him and he inhabits the praise of his people!
What or who do you tend to take for granted?