Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Am I Grateful? {Or Entitled}

Have you ever had one of those epiphanies that you think  
"Wow -- this has been in front of me this whole time and I'm just now realizing it?"  
... well, this is exactly what has happened to me over the past couple of days. But instead of looking at it and beating myself up that I'm "just now getting it" -- I'm telling myself that God's revealing timing is always perfect.  Maybe I need this epiphany more now than I ever have before.  
So, on to my revelation ... 
{well, maybe a little background first}

I've mentioned before that I can be a very negative person -- I truly don't mean to be, but ... I can be.  So I decided to "Like" some women's devotional/inspirational sites on Facebook -- you know, to reinforce God's words anytime I hop on my page.  And I think -- hope -- believe that I am receiving blessings as well as challenges during my time on Facebook.  I focus on these sites and spend much less time on the mindless things that go on.  One of the blessings and challenges I have read has been this picture from 
Time-Warp Wife's Darlene Schacht: 

Now, as a disclaimer -- I know I should have done my own research on this pastor, but I have not.  It's not the person that spoke to me, but the quote itself had its own lesson (psssstttttt .... that lesson was really from God Himself!)

Yes Lord ... I sure hear you speaking straight to my heart on this one.  Sometimes I admit that I get this crazy notion that I am owed something -- not that I have loaned someone something & they need to return it -- but that I'm entitled.  I'm even having a hard time connecting my words to this keyboard because I sure do not like to own up to this. So, let me give another example of someone who lived many years ago and wrote several books ... in the Bible.

The Apostle Paul was a persecutor of Christians before he was literally blinded by the Truth.  He writes in his letter to the church of Philippi "I thank God upon every remembrance of you" ... I will admit that this gives my heart a smile. 
I know that Paul was directing his words to the Philippians, but this statement alone gives me hope that when someone remembers me,  maybe they thank God for me too.  
But alas ... that was not my epiphany.  

Chapter 4 verse 11 of Philippians reads like this (Paul's words) ...

Not that I speak in respect of want: 
for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Ouch ... Ouch ... Ouch ...
Why this verse, God?  Why not just let Paul stop with the words that give me 
the warm feeling that someone is actually thankful when they think of me?  

Paul was persecuted ... Paul was imprisoned ... Paul was beaten ... Paul was hungry ... 
yet whatever came his way -- Paul was content.

So, what's the epiphany that God revealed to me through these connections? 
It's simply this ...

If I am content and give God the glory with wherever I am in life ...
then I am simply grateful for what God allows me to have ...
and if that's true in my life, then I realize that I am not entitled to anything ...
but through God's grace and mercy I have everything.

Does my epiphany mean that my lesson is learned and I just move on from here?
I know better.

But here's a few ways that I can express my gratitude to God in my everyday living --
... show others that I am grateful for them and what they do for me
... stop complaining and grumbling about things that may not "go my way"
... think of the many ways God has blessed me in my lifetime
... keep rooted in God's Word
... pray for God to keep working on my heart

 For me, I know this will mean that I will be working day by day to completely grasp the true meaning of gratitude ...
and even if I have to learn moment by moment on how to be content, 
I am assured that God's grace will be right there for me.

1 comment:

Doris said...

My friend, I am right there with you on this. Thank you for being honest, for sharing truth, for speaking grace - I am in so much need of grace and mercy as I learn and live and walk with the Lord in life!
Bless you!