Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thank You for My Broccoli


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

It’s hard to find something to be thankful for sometimes.  Online I’ve been doing what many others are doing, and trying to give something new to be thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving.  But this morning I wanted to be thankful for the speaker phone I use for work. 

Yesterday I had to participate in over four hours of phone calls.  That wouldn’t be a problem except they were on tough subjects, with tension and conflict, and weren’t billable.  When your income is connected to your billing ability, losing a half day to unbillable issues is stressful.  And yes, my ear would have been in pain after all those calls had I needed to hold the receiver to my ear!

But as I tried to type “I am thankful for my speaker phone” God gave me the voices of children sitting around a table, whining to their mom with faces of sadness, “thank you for my broccoli, mom.”  Yes, I was whining!  I was about to pull out the good dishes, bring on the ice cream, and have myself an elaborate pity party!

But with every petition to God, with everything we cry out to Him, there is an opposing point of praise.  As an example, I can praise God that I had a job to go to yesterday – and I didn’t have to leave my home to get there.  I can praise God that I like the people I work with, including my clients as well as my employer and coworkers.  I can praise God for the health that it took to sit upright all day, because not everyone has that.  I can praise Him for closing out the day of work with real work, and the ability to feel the creative urge subside as I got to write software.  Being truly thankful in prayer will eat away at self-pity like an acid.  And let’s just admit it.  We all have more to be thankful for than we have to complain about. 

We can always look to our lives and see the dark clouds.  But if that’s all you’re looking to see, you heart will be like a lake, filling up that dark, thirsty cloud.  Eventually, all that pity you have is going to turn into a downpour with whines of (sniffle, sniffle) “thank you for my broccoli”.  When those feelings of pity start to roll in, please remember this: God never called a single person to be a complainer.  It’s not your gift.  It’s not your calling.  It’s not your right.  You were made to be something greater, and blessed with more than you deserve.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 says “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing”.  The two are related.  The only way you can “rejoice always” is when you “pray without ceasing”.  Prayer has a way of putting things in perspective.  When we take our problems to Almighty God, feeling the love of His presence, our little whines and feelings of pity die down.  It’s in the comfort of God’s voice that we can rejoice, knowing that “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  His will for us isn’t always painless, but it is His will, and He knows what we need.  He will help us through our struggles, and as we learn to lean on Him we only become closer to Him.

This world is not Heaven and it’s not going to be Heavenly.  But everything gets better when turned over to God in prayer, and there is a Heaven awaiting us.  And personally, I believe in Heaven there will be no phones – and no broccoli!



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