I happened to see a very emotional message doing the rounds in WhatsApp. It’s of an old man in Italy, who had recovered from Covid 19 and was getting discharged from the hospital, when the doctor handed him his bill for settlement. While going through the bill, the 73 year old man started crying. The doctor tried to console him and told him that if it’s regarding his inability to pay the hospital bill, he could help him. But the old man said that he could pay the bill in full, and wasn’t crying out of his financial inability, but out of his guilt. He said to the doctor, “you have billed me 5000 Euros for a day’s usage of the ventilator through which I was able to breathe and sustain my life. But, how much do I owe God for the oxygen that I was breathing free for all these 73 years? And I have never been grateful to Him, and that guilt made me cry”.
Friends, I had in my first blog entitled “Gift of Life” , published in WordPress way back on 26 th December, 2017, had penned the following lines which I reproduce here. I qoute –“Have we ever given a thought to the Gifts we are enjoying free of cost like the air we breathe, the life sustaining water we drink, and the warmth of sunlight or the cool breeze that comforts us on a warm day or the rain that satiates the thirst of the earth so that there could be water in our wells or bore wells…???” If you have ever been in an hospital paying the hospital bills of a close relative or friend admitted there in the ICU and is on oxygen, then you will know the value of the Oxygen we breathe free of charge. Or if you have been to a desert where people walk miles to fetch a pitcher of water, then you will know the value of the water we waste every day. The comparison can go on… now if we were to pay for the oxygen that we breathe in day in and day out or the water we use or waste every day or the Vitamin D3 that we get free from the sunlight, how much would have been our monthly bill? Will we be able to afford it? Have you thought about it? I think we should occasionally give a serious thought to it.
So friends be Thankful to God for His innumerable and invaluable Gifts and blessings. Above all the Gift of Life. There’s nothing you can pay Him back, except having a grateful heart”. Unquote.
“BLESS THE LORD , O MY SOUL, AND FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS “.Psalm 103: 2.
In continuation of the above thought, I wish to draw your kind attention to the provisions our Loving God is making for all His creation by quoting the book of Psalms in the Bible. King David, who has written many Psalms, which are sung as Songs of Praise, has given a detailed description of the awesome way God provides not only for man, but also for the animals and birds and the all the living creatures on land and in the sea. Before becoming the King of Israel, David had spent his childhood days as a shepherd boy and had seen nature at very close quarters, which had kindled the poet in him, and he used to sing praises to God with his harp.
In Psalm 104 , he praises God who made the Earth, the heavens and the sea. Having set boundaries for the seas, God directs the springs into the Valleys, and they starts flowing from the hills . From these springs, the wild donkeys quench their thirst, and every beast of the field drink . There are trees by the side of the rivers, where the birds of the sky have their home; and sing among the branches .
He waters the earth with rains, and causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for Man that he may bring forth food from the earth. And wine to make him glad, and oil to make his hair, face and body shine, and bread to strengthen him . The fir trees are the home for the stork. The high hills are for the wild goats; and the cliffs are a refuge to the rock badgers ( Hyrax seen in South Africa).
God has appointed the moon for seasons; and the sun knows it’s going down, and as night falls, all the beasts of the forest creep about. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God who has instituted the Food Chain. When the sun rises, these nocturnal animals gather together and lie down in their dens. It is then Man goes out for his work and to labor until the evening.
Then, there’s the great and wide sea in which are innumerable teeming living things, both small and great. The Psalmist says that these all wait for God to give them food in due season. What God gives them they gather in; when He opens His hand they are filled with good. When He takes away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When God send forth His Spirit, new creations occur and the face of the earth is thus renewed.
After having understood the marvelous ways of God’s provision in Nature, David sings out his soulful praise saying,. “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great…”( Psalm 104:1)
Friends, let us also like King David, ‘Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving; sing praises on the harp to our God, who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow, and gives food to the beast and to the young ravens that cry (Psalm 147: 7-9).
The Lord gives food to the hungry ( Psalm 146 Vs 7). The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works ( Psalm 145 vs.9). The eyes of all look expectantly to You, O Lord, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the need of every living thing. ( Psalm 145: 15-16).
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The Lord preserves all who love Him. My mouth shall speak the Praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless His holy name forever and ever (Psalm 145:18-21) Amen.