Recognize your blessings
Published 10:25 am Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord, not for people.” Psalm 78:18 “They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.”
Question: Is your life all about you? For some of us, it’s amazing how much we get wrapped up in us. Being content with what we have, what we are doing, or what our future might look like, goes a long way in determining our relationship with God. How often do our children want a toy, a ball, a doll, that is very similar or close to one they already have at home. They aren’t content with the old, used one. They need the new, more colorful and cooler model. Oh, our children are so fickle and funny aren’t they? Yes, they are! And I wonder where they get it from? Probably from us, the Samsung Galaxy and iPhone fans. Even as adults we want the latest and greatest, and we want it yesterday.
All of us, have in some way given in to our culture of discontent. Both in Colossians and in the Psalm readings, there is a half-hearted approach in response to the blessings of God. “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, for the Lord, and not for people.” More people in the world are unemployed, than those of us who have work. But like our children, when they are asked to clean their room, take out trash, dust and vacuum, load or unload the dishwasher, fold clothes, or cut grass; there is complaining about something that isn’t right. How often are you discontented with your life, your work, your family, and even yourself? Your God? The Israelites put God to the test and told him what they wanted to eat. God had just delivered them from Egypt, freed them from slavery, and promised them a land of milk and honey. But that wasn’t coming quick enough, and they wanted their food now! Ever been at a restaurant and thought, what’s taking so long, did they have to go out and kill the cow? Impatient with discontent for dessert. Looking at the lack in life, instead of the bounty of blessings. How did you get to the restaurant? Car. Are you naked or dressed for the occasion? Dressed. Do you have money in your bank account, or do you plan on deploying the “dine and dash” strategy? Money.
Do you think God ever has feelings of discontent toward us? For how long has God wanted an intimate relationship with us, but we chose “the Belle of the ball” over him. And we almost always do! But our God is a faithful God, and a patient God and a merciful God. For that, each and every one of us should be thankful. More than that however, our God is a gracious God, who sent his son to die on a cross for our sins, so that we might love him more, talk to him more, be grateful to him more, ask for forgiveness more, and strive to live our lives according to His will … more. The great news is that our God always gives all of God’s self. God cannot do any less than that. And while we may not acknowledge it, God knows what we need better than we do … he did create us, right? My hope is that each of us may strive to live God’s will for our lives, that our complaints and discontent may be moved to care and compassion for others, and that we would look to Jesus, not as our personal social worker, but as the world’s risen Savior who has redeemed us all. I think we can all rejoice about that!
Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.