Our furnace broke, just when we started feeling a need for it, and just when our lives reached a high peak of stress with work and volunteer commitments. My husband, with all of his mechanical and tech skills, confirmed that the furnace had indeed kicked the bucket completely.
When we are home, we want to feel snuggly warmth, and restful comfort.
Instead we felt cold.
For a few hours, we (my husband and I) were crabby about it.
Then some friends of ours called my husband (Mr. Fix It Engineer Tech Guy) and told him that their furnace was "acting up." They told him that they were all right for the moment because their gas fireplace still worked, but they just wanted his opinion on whether it was fixable.
For a moment after that, my husband and I were even crabbier - our gas fireplace stopped working about three years ago, and we never got around to fixing it or replacing it. But something about their thankfulness sank into our hearts, and we stopped crabbing and started thanking God for what we have.
We have warm blankets. We have electricity, and hot water. We have friends and family who offered us their homes for warmth. My parents gave us all of their space heaters (they actually own four).
We are also thankful for the things we did to stay warm while our house was cold.
We took hot showers, drank extra hot beverages, cuddled together in big piles of blankets, wore warm sweatshirts, and sat next to space heaters. The dogs sat on our feet, and we piled them with blankets too. The cat cuddled more than usual, and kept us warmer at night.
We are thankful that the time of cold is past us, and went past us easily.
My husband found two furnace companies who gave us two different bids, and he did research on the net, and after five days two wonderful furnace guys came to our house and replaced our furnace for a decent price. We are thankful that we can afford to replace our furnace in a time when our country's economy is troubled.
There are people in our country and people all over the world that experience far worse situations than the inconvenience of a broken furnace.
Our heat is back on, and we are so thankful for the steadiness of our furnace's warmth. But we are also thankful for the lessons learned and re-learned in the cold.
We need to give thanks even when the furnace breaks.
We need to look beyond our lives to the lives of others, and see what we can do to warm their lives with the blessings that we have been given to share.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:4-8
Have you learned anything about thankfulness lately?
Have any unexpected blessings to share?