It was a rough start to my morning yesterday. We have been keeping a Safe Families for Children baby this past weekend and I’m not used to getting myself and another human being ready for church. I woke up late and was immediately flustered and grumpy, but I quickly jumped in the shower and thought I still had plenty of time, but soon realized I couldn’t find anything to wear. Trying on multiple outfits and throwing each sweater on the floor, all while complaining and stomping around because “I have nothing to wear” subtracted precious time I did not have. The only thing it did add to my morning was more stress and grumpiness (these few extra pounds sure do make last years winter clothes a lil snug. eek!). But despite all of the obstacles in my way, I still remembered to feed the cat, put a fresh diaper on the baby, make a bottle, pack a diaper bag and leave on time! WHOO HOO!!!
While on the way out the door I grabbed a breakfast bar and loaded the baby in the vehicle only to find out it won’t start. Are you serious?! Is this really happening to me today?!? Apparently the day before I had left the key in the accessories (ACC) position and ran the battery dead.
I’m still shaking my head and not sure how I did this, but I’m not surprised because there has been a time (or two) in which I got out of the vehicle to go inside and left it running…I blame it on the fact that my mind is always two or three steps ahead.
Unfortunately the hubs was not home because he was on “parking lot” duty at the church and had already left an hour before me…so basically I was stranded. As I sat in the driver’s seat thinking it would mysteriously start if I stared at it long enough, I found myself start to complain. I’ll admit, my complaints were pointless and petty, so after about 5 minutes of stewing over my problems, I decided to go back inside, call Daniel to see what he could do, and make muffins (I had intended to make muffins for breakfast but I had run out of time).
Daniel OF COURSE did not answer (if you know my hubby then you will know that he is notorious for not answering his phone) so I instead sent him a text message and sat down to wait for him to call me back. While sitting there at the breakfast table I looked over and saw my Bible and my Jesus Calling devotional. I figured I should probably use my time wisely and read it. Who knows, maybe it would speak to me and help me get over my “complaining” attitude. This is what I read…
Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks in everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks, regardless of your feelings, and I give you Joy, regardless of your circumstances. This is a spiritual act of obedience-at times, blind obedience. To people who don’t know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me in heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain. Thankfulness opens your heart to my Presence and your mind to my thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this light of My Presence that removes the sting of adversity.
Ouch! So I should thank God when I get up late and can’t fit into my clothes? I should thank Him when my vehicle won’t start and I can’t make it to a church service? Should I take it a step further and thank Him for my infertility or that my friend found out this weekend she is no longer pregnant after just sharing the joyful news last week with everyone? The correct answer is yes, yes, and yes.
We must praise and bless God in the valleys of life as well as on the mountaintops.~Change Your Words, Change Your Life by Joyce Meyer
Why is it so easy and sometimes natural to immediately fall into our “feelings” and start complaining, murmuring and grumbling when something goes wrong in our lives, but it’s unnatural or far too difficult to even think about thanking and praising God during those same moments? When I was complaining today about getting up late, not finding anything to wear and my vehicle not starting, I wasn’t complaining against God…I was just complaining in general; but I believe God takes our complaining personally. Since God is my Father and my Provider, when I complain, I am basically saying that I don’t trust that He will fix my problems. If I truly trusted Him, then I wouldn’t complain, grumble, or murmur, but instead I would voice my thankfulness that He is working in my life and giving me strength to do whatever I need to do while I am waiting on Him who ultimately is my “Mr. Fix-It”.
Thankfulness opens the door for God to bless us, and complaining opens the door for the devil to curse us. ~The Power of Simple Prayer by Joyce Meyer
I don’t believe we need to be thankful for the hardships themselves, but rather be thankful and give thanks to God because He will give us what we need to get through them. I don’t believe God expects me to be thankful for my infertility per se, but rather be thankful for who He is and what He is doing through my infertility that will bring Him honor and glory. I can’t sit here and be thankful that my friend is no longer going to be expecting a healthy baby in nine months, but I can be thankful that through this heartache the enemy has caused her, God will turn into something good and that He will give her peace and comfort during this time.
When I complain I can only see my situation from my negative perception and this type of negative attitude will only cause me to remain in my situation. I looked up the definition of complain and one of the definitions means to remain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to remain in my negative situation any longer than I have to, but when I complain, that’s exactly what I am doing…I am remaining. But when I choose to thank God for His faithfulness, love, mercy, power, strength and all of His other wonderful characteristics, I enter into His Presence; it is a place of freedom, peace, healing, and comfort.
When we allow ourselves to be negative and have a bad attitude, it keeps us in the very circumstance that we want to get out of.
This devotional was perfect for me today, but how much more perfect would it have been if I had taken the time first thing this morning to stop and even spend just two minutes reading this “love note” from God? I was too busy rushing around…I was too busy thinking and speaking all things negative. I am going to start paying closer attention to my thoughts and my words and strive to develop an attitude of thanksgiving in every situation. I believe that my intimacy with God will increase and His blessings will pour out on my life as I go from complaining to thanking and I encourage you to do the same. Next time you find yourself complaining, just stop and begin to give God thanksgiving and praise for who He is and what He is doing and going to do in your life.
Thanksgiving is a language of faith which pleases God and causes miracles to happen in your life.
How did the rest of my morning go? Well, my night in shining armor came to my rescue, jump started my battery and I was able to make it to the second service; but this time I was free from the complaining and grumpiness that had plagued me all morning and I was able to continue on with my day full of God’s peace and joy.