“For it is God which works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure. Do ALL things without murmurings and disputing; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:13-15
I went to a prayer meeting on a Tuesday night where there were at least 3000 or more people present. It was absolutely amazing; and, I felt an empowering gratitude to see so many people rapt in prayer and supplication to God. It was a time to pray for the transition of people returning to school. We prayed for the children going back to school, their families, parents, teachers, administrators, school bus drivers, maintenance workers, and any other person associated with a school. We prayed for their safety, surety of knowledge, and that it would be their most amazing year ever! For most of us, back to school marks the end of summer; and, as we look towards fall, many of us will reassess our lives leaning towards one decision or another. As I read Philippians 2:13-15 above, I thought about gratitude.
Let us truly understand this biblical text; it pretty much says, “Stop Complaining! I know the world has problems, but there’s work I need for you to do! I need you to shine as a light unto the world!” The truth is, this is not the best text to read when you are reassessing your life. The very act of reassessment is based in complaints. These complaints propel us to change those things that are not working in our lives for new, hopefully more fruitful horizons. However, since we are rapt for change anyway, let us declare today that no matter what happens, we will try getting through the entire day without complaining about any given thing. You will need to confide in at least one other person so they can hold you to it.
Let’s start with the alarm clock (at least you have the gift of opening your eyes!), your clothing (oh, so you have clothing?), your commute (you have a car that runs?), mass transit (oh, so you have money for the train or bus?), and sometimes the hardest one—co-workers! (At least you have co-workers to work with! You could be doing all the work yourself!) In a time when so many people around the world are starving, homeless, unemployed, or in the middle of wars, cultural genocide, and natural disasters, let us practice gratitude. The kind of gratitude we often forget due to our preoccupation with asking God for more. If you really need more, ask, but be careful; “To whom much is given, much is required!” (Luke 12:48)
Take some time today to write down all that you are grateful for; you will be surprised how far a little gratitude will go. You never know, maybe your gratitude will be so infectious it will last all week, maybe even a whole month! Maybe, it will affect others in your surroundings so much, it allows your former “grumbling” spirit to shine so brightly with gratitude, YOU will be as a beacon of “light unto the world.” L.
Study Reference: Philippians 2:13-15
From:"In Quest of Gratitude." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell