031304 Finding God in the Mystery of every day
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Colossians 3:15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
God will not force you to be thankful. It is, as with most things, a choice, an act settled within your own heart. Oftentimes, particularly at this time of year in the United States we are exhorted to count our blessings. Like spoiled children a lot of people secretly rebel against this idea. “Why should I thank God?” they say. “Did he get up every morning and go out to work? Did he wrestle every day with finances, children, time to finish anything?” It would be very easy here to rip those arguments to shreds, but the truth is, I think every one of us has felt that way at one time or another. So, how would God change the face of our grumpy spoiled little girl? (above)
Certainly, it is not about the multitude of our possessions. Just as certainly, it is not about our health. Why? I guess I would say that the argument or statement that says, “There but for the grace of God…” cannot apply here. God’s blessings are to all. Whether we are rich or poor, healthy, or sick, safe, or in danger. So, just what are we to be thankful for? The Pilgrim band at the first American Thanksgiving were thankful for the very fact that they were alive, that they had survived the rigors of the journey to be there to celebrate that survival and thank God for the freedom that his lovingkindness had given them by the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus the Christ of God.
Imagine for just a moment that you were persecuted on every side, that you were restricted in your movements and required to pay homage to a person or government that was wholly given over to evil. To find yourself suddenly free from that sort of mental, emotional, and spiritual bondage would seem the most amazing experience of your life. In Jesus, our Christ, the king of kings that is what we find. Even though we may find ourselves incarcerated for His Name’s sake our hearts can rise to apprehend the kind of freedom those first Anglo-Americans felt. Beyond all of the “yes, but” questions that may arise out of the actions of those people the first thanksgiving was a moment to celebrate the joy of being alive in Christ.
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