This post originally appeared December 31, 2014 on perrynoble.com
I had a dream this past Friday night that caused me to wake up in a cold sweat.
I was in the 11th grade and my dad and I were kicked out of the apartment complex we were living in because he had been arrested for selling drugs.
The reason it caused me to wake up in a cold sweat is because it wasn’t just a dream, it actually happened years ago.
Several days before we were kicked out of the apartment, I watched a rent-to-own company come into that apartment and repossess my bed, dresser, chest of drawers and all of our living room furniture.
Fast forward about a year or so and my dad and I were kicked out of a trailer park because we could not pay the rent.
Then about a year later we were kicked out of another trailer (where we were only paying $40 a week for rent) because the owner of the trailer just got tired of us.
All of that hit me like a ton of bricks in the face and I was flooded with a wave of emotions.
I got out of bed and walked into my living room and sat on my couch…and it hit me.
I’m sitting on a couch!!!
I remember my couch being repossessed.
Then I thought, “I am in a house…my house!” I’m emotional as I write this right now because I remember what it was like to be homeless, no place to live and trying to find friends and family members to stay with for a while.
Then I thought, “I just got out of my bed – I have a bed!” You see, my house burned down in 1984 and that was the last time I would have a bed of my own until Lucretia and I were married in 2000. (I slept on floors, couches and borrowed beds!)
Then I thought, “I have food in the fridge!” That’s a big deal! I still remember December 31, 1989 (25 years ago today) my dad and I having no food (as in NONE) in the entire house. I only had $5 in my pocket and there was a restaurant nearby that had a sign outside advertising hamburger plates for $1.99. I went and bought two of them and we had a meal together literally not knowing where our next meal would come from.
Then I thought, “I have heat in my house.” The reason for thinking about that was the very night we had the $1.99 hamburger plates, the gas that heated our trailer ran out, and we literally almost froze to death in bed.
I am shaking my head right now because all too often I forget to just tell Jesus “thank you” for all of the things in my life I used to not have, but I now see as normal.
Jesus saved me. He changed my life. And every good thing in my life is because of Him.
All too often I am so busy complaining to Him about the things I do not have when I should be thanking Him for all that I do have.
I live in a house. (I’ve lived there eight years, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my entire life.)
I have a bed.
I have food.
I have an awesome wife.
I have an amazing daughter.
I am a part of an incredible church.
I have great friends.
I have so much to be thankful for.
Thinking about my past and how rough it was has always been very painful for me, until that dream the other night. It was like God saying to me, “Look how far I’ve brought you.”
The reason for writing this is simple – don’t forget to say “thank you” to God for “the little things.” You know, the things all of us take for granted.
Say “thanks” for your home, your health, your kids, your parents, your job, and your clothes.
Thankfulness leads to worship.
Thankfulness eradicates entitlement.
Thankfulness makes us way better people to be around.
One of my prayers for this next year is I will be more thankful…hope you will as well. (Colossians 2:6-7).
Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. You can read all of Perry’s unfiltered thoughts about life and leadership at PerryNoble.com Don’t worry, he holds nothing back. To learn more, follow him on Twitter @PerryNoble