Jul 18 2023

I Didn’t Just Wake Up; I Woke Up Not in Jail!

Pastor Dave Koppel

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever.

It's amazing how important our attitude is. Every week, I set aside time to have lunch with and pray with two of my colleagues. They're both pastors, and we have been meeting for the past 13 years, week in and week out. We pray for each other, hold each other accountable, and enjoy our time together. I like to think we keep each other on our toes, encourage each other, and sharpen each other's faith.

The other day we met and one of my colleagues wanted to take home some of his lunch. The waiter brought over a Styrofoam container, and as he tried to scoop food into it, it flipped over, and all his food landed on the floor.

It reminded me of when you get an ice cream cone, and as soon as you walk out of the ice cream shop, the ice cream rolls off your cone and falls on the ground. It's not the end of the world, but sometimes that can be pretty disappointing.

In contrast, one of the bussers came up to greet us — we've got to know him a little bit over the past year.

When I asked him how we could pray for him that day, he said, “Just pray that God hears my thanksgiving and my praises. I don't want anything. I don't need anything. I just want to thank God.”

He went on, “I thank God that I woke up today! I didn’t just wake up; I woke up, and I was not in jail!”

You see, our friend the busboy has struggled mightily with drug addiction over the years. He has lived through some difficult and even gruesome times. He has struggled and is now recovering addict. He's been away from drugs and alcohol for five years. He works hard, prays hard, and he trusts God with everything.

Sometimes it's easy to forget all those things we take for granted — like waking up somewhere other than a jail cell.

We all have so much to be thankful for; if we only stop and realize it. Even on the toughest days, we all have something for which to be thankful.

Perhaps we can focus on that.

In His grip,