COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
'The period of time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is, or
should be, one of joy and appreciation of the many blessings we have received
during the past year. Some, who have been ill treated by fate, may say,
"What have I to be thankful for?" To these we can only reply, I had
no shoes, and I complained bitterly, until I met a man who had no feet!"
Some of the most difficult of the hidden-meaning passages
are those which speak of, "The wrath of God," and the dire punishments
which He may inflict upon those who incur His anger.
The fact must be recognized that God has never been angry
with man, or with any other part of His creation, nor will He ever be! Anger is
an animal emotion, reflecting fear and futility. It is common to man, but can
never be Divine.
God does not punish man. Man, whether he realizes it or
not, punishes himself, although he usually manages to put the blame on God.
The average child learns, at a rather early age, that if
he puts his hand into a fire, his hand will be burned. He does not say, how
ever, that this is because the fire is angry with him for his temerity, nor
that it is punishing him for his act. The child simply learns that it is the
nature of fire to burn and, although fire is necessary to the welfare of man,
proper care must be exercised in approaching and using it.
As a child goes through life it learns many natural laws,
some it may accept as valid without testing, others it must learn through the
pain and loss that results when they are ignored.
It should be better understood that the laws of God are
the laws of nature. They are all based upon unalterable fact, and not upon the
passing whims of a petulant dictator. If someone drops a lighted match into an
open barrel of gunpower, it does not require any special act of God to bring
about the event that will follow immediatly and inevitably.
The child who eats all of the cookies in the jar because
its mother is visiting the neighbors and can not see it, will find that the
resulting stomach ache is independent of the parent's observation.
Unfortunately, there are many laws of God and nature which man does not yet comprehend,
and even more which he has been taught, but which he will not accept as
immutable laws. He still has the feeling that," "If no one is
looking" He can ignore the law' and nothing will happen.
The deceptive feeling that some of the natural laws can be
ignored with impunity probably stems from the fact that the result of a given
act does not always (like the barrel of gunpower), follow immediatly upon the
act itself, and so the temporary illusion may be created that there will be
If only man could learn that the laws of God were not made
for God's benefit, but for man's welfare and guidance; that the laws are
immutable facts which cannot be escaped by anyone; the need for policemen,
judges and jails which would shrink amazingly, and mankind would be relieved of
the major part of his suffering and loss.
Daniel W. Fry)