Recently, someone shared an article with me on the two kinds of gratitude which was most interesting. If we take someone a wrapped gift, does she unwrap the gift and then thank us profusely or does she set the gift down and embrace us before she even unwraps it. This really sparked some thought with me. Always, before Jesus prayed, he first expressed gratitude to God for all He had done! As we express that type of gratitude, isn’t our thought lifted to a spiritual level? Or are we always praying to get something or to get well or whatever?
I Chronicles 29:11 reads, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” Isn’t that a wonderful way to begin all prayer? I think I will do that.
This morning I was thinking of advertisements regarding the perfect weight and size; then the perfect clothes and hair-style and cosmetic. This goes on and on and on. With all of the media focusing on comparisons of what beauty is. Even compliments like “she looks like she did in school” which could have been years earlier. Is there really a surprise that so many people are unhappy with the way they look? This time of the year one would certainly not want to turn down food at loved ones homes for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Then they consider the weight they may put on. Matthew 6:28,29 reads “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
The more one frets over his looks and size, the worse he looks physically. True beauty is from within and includes love of oneself and others, gratefulness, generosity, kindness and humility. This will be my thoughts today to put into practice. Joy has nothing to do with how one looks.
Almost all of the past few days has been spent in bed, which is certainly not usual for me. Whenever I was able, I would read and pray but it was infrequent. Then, this afternoon I was reminded of school days when a teacher would give us a “pop quiz”; not because we were being punished or she was angry but to see if we were understanding what we had been reading and studying. Without a doubt, the realization hit that had been going on with me. This understanding cut through the mesmerism of sickness like a sword! This led to Psalm 139:23-24 which reads, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Yes, I needed to not give in to the thought of sickness, but know absolutely I was made in the image and likeness of God. He is the only creator there is and knows nothing of sickness, nor could I. Definitely wanted to pass this test so I wouldn’t have to re-take it.
Plans for Thanksgiving were to cook on Wednesday, go to Church on Thursday, which is my favorite service of the year, come home and eat and nap. Friday would be spent decorating the house for Christmas; then our nephew and his wife were coming up for the week-end to visit and see holiday lights throughout the Hill Country, which are spectacular.
What actually happened was that I did cook on Wednesday, barely able to get up on Thursday and warm the turkey and dressing, eat and go back to bed and have been there ever since. Thinking about humanly outlining and when plans don’t go as expected, I was led to I Thessalonians 5:16-18 which reads, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Not for a minute do I believe God wanted me sick and suffering, but He may have wanted me quiet for these days. Certainly, I am grateful to be up at my desk this morning studying and praying.
My Bible Lesson today speaks of Satan and in Romans 16:20, it reads “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” In Greek, to “bruise” means to crush, shatter or break. In other words, man is made to have dominion as written in the first chapter of Genesis. When we stay “unimpressed” with error, we maintain this dominion and error flees from us. “Lead us not into temptation” is in the prayer that Jesus gave to us. Today, I will respond with Love rather than react to error!
This morning as I was watering my plants, there were buds on my Christmas Cactus. It had looked like nothing was going on with it for ages and there they were. Doesn’t that often happen in life when it looks like nothing is going on and then, ….? Someone just said to me “The promise of Good is one God always keeps!” It is always in His time because He knows best. Isaiah 58:11 reads, “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Today I will let the burdens fall off and let God take over.
As we enter into this man-made season called “Holidays”, it is easy to be caught up in the world scene of franticness, anxiety, thoughts of lack of health, relationships, finances, etc. Only by spiritualizing this into gratitude for all that is given to us daily by Divine Love and respect and adoration for the birth of the Christ, will we find peace and harmony. No amount of gift-giving or partying can give us peace. Only by going to God and being grateful and humble can this be achieved. We can live Love, which is always the answer to any problem.
Ephesians 3:16-19 reads “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Today, this is my prayer.