Cuddles, our MinPin canine daughter, often seems to provide vivid illustrations of Biblical truths.
Recently, she wanted to go outside. Now she had been outside earlier in the evening, and at that time she had barked incessantly until we let her out and the barking was transferred to the neighbors instead of to us. Then she barked to come in and we, as properly trained dog parents, got up and obeyed her bark.
Moments later, she was again barking to go outside. At this point, my husband said “Whatever she has, she wants something different!”
When she was outside, she wanted to be inside. When she was inside, she wanted to be outside. When she was playing with a toy, she wanted a different one (the one her sister was playing with, actually). When she got that toy, she put her paw on it and barked for something else.
After reading thus far, you might say that she is not well-trained and we need to get her to a trainer post haste. I agree with you – but we did have her with a trainer who was great, and then we failed to continue with the regimen — now we have this.
But it seems to me that she exhibits what many of us do on a regular basis.
When we have good health, we want more money. When we have money, we want better health. When we have ample food but no self-discipline, we want to be slender but we don’t want to do the work to get there. When we are young, we wish we were older so we could do things that we cannot yet do, but when we are seniors we look with longing at the young and wish we were young again so we could do some things differently (of course this desire for youth also comes with the requirement that we retain the wisdom that age brings).
Are we satisfied with what God has given us? As Christians, Scripture exhorts us to be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves for our God is in control:
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
In just a few days we, in the United States, will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day, the national holiday where we set time aside and thank God for those daring folks who came to this country when there was little to draw them here. It was a harsh land and the transition from European “civilization” to the American frontier life was anything but easy. They relied upon God daily as they worshiped and prayed for each other during those difficult early years.
It surely is right that we honor and remember the Pilgrims and their sacrifices so that, hundreds of years later, we could live in an incredible land of abundance, majestic beauty and awesome breadth. It is right that we offer prayers of thanks to God for their acts of heroism and for His providential care of them in coming to and in establishing our country.
But it is even more appropriate for us to, daily, thank God for His provision, love, grace and mercy toward us. We ought not reserve our thanksgiving for a day with that moniker!
- When was the last time you thanked God for life, for His gift of air to breathe, for His provision of food for your table, for His grace to our sin-cursed heart by sending His Son for our salvation?
- When was the last time you thanked God for whatever position or condition you are in, even if it is difficult and/or painful, even if it is not what you would have chosen for yourself?
- When was the last time you thanked God for difficulties in the secure confidence that He will use these circumstances for your good and His glory?
Will you pray like this on Thanksgiving Day?
Will you pray like this in December, when Thanksgiving is just a memory? What about in 2017? Will you pray like this daily and thank God for what He has blessed you with, even if that “blessing” is difficulty or a trial? God is in control and He will use all those experiences for His glory even if that is outside the scope of your vision right now.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
You may never know what effect your response to difficulty will have on others, but God knows and He will bless you for your obedience to His commands.
Christian, give thanks to Him for all things and you will be blessed, now and for all eternity.
Father, we thank You for the gift of your love, grace and mercy; for your atoning work through Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross all for the purpose of providing us salvation and release from the bondage of sin so that we may have eternal life through His name. Father, we thank You for your provision of all the things that we need for life and we pray forgiveness when we have squandered them or when we have claimed to have merited them through our own efforts. Give us eyes to see and hearts to understand that all we have and all we are is a result of your grace, mercy and provision as You are the one and true God, and through Christ You are our Father.