I know that it is easy to complain and rant and rave on occasion. I know that God is slow to anger and is able to understand our human plight and tendencies. This isn’t to make excuses for my crazy reactions to life circumstances. I’m humbled by the Apostle Paul’s continued exhortation to be thankful in all circumstances. He did have it hard in life. He even asked God to change or fix his circumstances often and I know he got an answer that he didn’t like – you can live through your circumstances with my help and actually make it.
I talk often about the fact that there aren’t short cuts in life for anyone. Whether you are a normal person or perceive yourself to be a superstar. God only sees us as his children who have gone astray and he alone has the power to draw us back to himself. Yet, isn’t it amazing that when I’m in a tough situation I want the short cut or instant fix and don’t want to hear any discussion about perseverance.
I do know that having a thankful attitude goes a long way to help in any circumstance. It is way too easy to allow bitterness and anger to rule and wreck your life circumstances. I go back to Paul as an interesting test case of thankfulness or seeing the glass as being ½ full and not empty. He spends the last portion of his life in prison awaiting his trial and ultimate execution. Here is an individual that truly laid his life down for the father. It would be easy for most to say that he deserves a break and that God should free him and allow him to side step his own execution.
I know that the response that Jesus himself gave to his followers, especially his leaders was that if it happened to me it will most likely happen to you. So should I be thankful for being given the privilege of suffering for Jesus? Is it possible to have a thankful attitude in the face of bad news? I was rather miffed at God for throwing a curve on Christmas Day. I was just as hurt that someone I love is going to suffer because of a physical problem that he didn’t cause. Yeah, having plaque break off from your artery is caused by someone’s indulgence over the years.
I have to admit I do have a difficult time being angry with God for too long. I have been blessed with many around me who have taught me to look at the bigger picture and how to understand my role or part in the fallen sinful world around me and how my choices have impacted my life and others. So I still want to scream at times when horrible things happen to good people. I can remember that one of my first painting grandmas who has become special to me had a stroke about a month after we painted her house. It has taken Mrs. Jefferson almost 2 years to regain her speech and her strength. She has been an amazing example of perseverance and my spiritual mentor in many ways.
I will confess that I don’t want to be that example of someone who can face everything and still have a smile. I don’t want to go through any more heartache or suffering. Fancy me telling God that I know how to better run the universe or my life. I do have a blessed life and as I see those around me I know that I have it good even though I have faced some life struggles. God, thanks for loving me when I’m a rebellious kid.