Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dampened Spirits (Number 2 in a series)

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)

For my first three days on the road, I was in rain, often coming down hard enough to obscure visibility. I fretted about the damage that might be done to the things I had on top of the car. I worried about missing a directional sign. I griped to God about the danger of driving in such weather and the time I would lose because of it.

Another problem soon became apparent: the nylon straps I had used to secure my “do-it-yourself” roof rack passed through the interior of the car and acted as wicks to bring the rain inside. The water followed the dictates of gravity and sought the lowest point. For one of the straps, that point was right over the front seat! Another crossed through the car in the back. Now I had to worry not only about my belongings on the roof, but also my dog, the things inside the car and myself. The whole world seemed to be perpetually damp. I prayed for the rain to stop.

Watching the news in my motel room on the second night, I heard the broadcaster report on the happiness of area farmers and ranchers over the much-needed rain. I felt instantly ashamed of myself. What I perceived to be a trial, someone else received as a huge blessing.

Isn’t that often the issue with us? The circumstances aren’t the problem so much as our reaction to those circumstances. Perhaps that’s why we have to be reminded to keep an “attitude of gratitude.” We are easily distracted from seeing God’s blessings as we get caught up in the cares of the world.

How often have you complained about something, only to find out later it was a blessing in disguise? In this Thanksgiving month, resolve to heed 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 and give thanks in everything.

© 2008 Mary Beth Magee

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