What a 4-year-old saw changed her life

1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Give thanks in all circumstances…” (ESV)

Today’s Thought
Ann Voskamp’s earliest memory is when she was four years old. She witnessed her 18-month old sister being run over by a truck in their farmyard.


Ever since she’s struggled in her relationship with God.

With this memory seared in her mind, Ann became accustomed to seeing suffering everywhere in the world. But in her book One Thousand Gifts she describes an email she received from a friend. It was a challenge:

Could she write a list of 1000 things she loved? It was a challenge to name one thousand blessings, one thousand gifts. Not gifts she wants; but gifts she’s already been given. So she started her list:

1. Morning shadows across old floors
2. Jam piled high on the toast
3. Cry of blue jay from high in the spruce…

One of the silent messages of our society is “not enough.” Not enough love, not enough beauty, not enough money, not enough energy, not enough time. But what if we were looking at things with one eye closed?

Ann was challenged to write a list of one thousand blessings.

Could you?

This week, it’s easy to see all the problems. So to tip the scales a bit, just start listing the gifts you’ve been given. I’m not even asking you to write them down. Just name them… in the car, doing laundry, during a slow stretch at work:

What would they be?

…a sister who cares, a good night’s rest, a car that starts, barbecue sauce, a singing bird…

It won’t solve all of your problems. But it will help you remember that, in the midst of life’s bruises, a good God has already been giving you more than you even know what to do with.

By Matthew Ruttan

One thought on “What a 4-year-old saw changed her life

  1. Hi Matthew, again I want to thank you for your wonderful Devotional’s. I am reading catch up at 5:15 on Monday morning. Last Tuesday, Valentine’s Day I received a most remarkable gift…a bilateral lung transplant. Words can not begin to express my appreciation to others who have made this possible and to this beautiful reminder that there are always 1000’s of ways to feel joy. Wishing you and yours joy and light!


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