Boy, I have a lot on my mind this week. I almost thought about not posting about being thankful because it seems so hard to do this week.
So should we be more “honest” and “real” and start sharing all the bad stuff in our lives? Is my blog fake because it makes me sound like some kind of perfect, daisies and rainbows person? I’ve thought and thought about this, especially on top of getting some seriously bad news about our dog this week, and here’s what I’m at…
Bad stuff happens. Every day. To all of us. We don’t have to post about it on our blogs or Facebook to make that fact real. If you’re buying into that perfect image of someone on Facebook, or their blog, or in the church pew next to you, they’re not fooling you. You’re fooling yourself.
The Apostle Paul identified one of the fruits of the Spirit as longsuffering. (Galatians 5:22) Why do we need the Holy Spirit to gift us with longsuffering? Well, did you know that, when smeared all over the bed, covered with blankets, and left to dry, Selsun Blue shampoo turns into a powdery substance that will turn your toddler into one of the Blue Men after naptime. Oh yes.
This is exactly what Peter was talking about when he said “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you…” (1 Peter 12). We all struggle. We all have our own “fiery trials”. We all need the gift of longsuffering (along with a few others!). Including those who have perfect hair, perfect fingernails, and perfectly dressed kids who don’t go to school wearing their little brother’s pants in anticipation of the 2nd flood.
But God’s Word also says “Finally, bretheren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
We aren’t called to share all our suffering and problems in an effort to match our bad day to everyone else’s bad day. We’re called out of our trails and suffering to joy. “My brethern, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2)
Can I admit that I fought this truth for a long time? Oh, how I fought it. It outrages our human sense of justice that we should have to suffer, and then have to be glad about it! But there it is. God’s Word doesn’t lie. He says what He means and He means what He says (Thanks for that tidbit, Pastor Gray!).
And even more, we are called to share that with others. “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:14-15)
We’re supposed to lift each other up. Encourage each other. (Need a little lift? Check out this picture of Mr. Fix-It and the Ladybug I just dug up over the weekend!)
Challenge each other to growth in faith. Not drown together in the mire of life. My mom was my cheerleader. She was always positive. Always cheerful. Always looking on the bright side for me when I got down, anxious, or frustrated. Looking back, I realize it wasn’t always easy for her. She choose to focus on the good things over the bad things. To keep the good memories and let go of the negative stuff…in her childhood, in her marriage, in her kids…to give everyone another chance. That’s not being fake, that’s being strong.
So today, I am thankful. I’m thankful for…
- A church home with a bible preaching Pastor and his amazing wife that loves my crew even when they throw all the contents of their diaper bag at her in the nursery.
- A sister who’s love and respect encourages me to be a better person as “iron sharpeneth iron.” (Proverbs 27: 17)
- A husband who forgives me when my interpretation of his desire for a “healthy” dinner includes polish sausage.
- My new bible concordance and dictionary (even if I do think they mislead me a little bit when titling something “concise” at 1,175 pages).
- Another day.
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for more pictures and less words! 🙂
Happy Thankful Thursday!