I have to say that I was amazed when I laid down last night and pulled out One Thousand Gifts! I wrote in my previous post that thankfulness/eucharisteo grows faith and trust and brings peace. Little did I know that is exactly what I would read last night. I am so thankful that God is teaching me!
I was pondering the different issues we are facing with our children. I have been praying for wisdom to know exactly what to do with each of them. There is anger and whining/complaining. What can overcome them? I do not struggle that much with anger, so I have really been at a loss. I knew what to overcome the complaining with though; you need to replace it with thankfulness. Then, after reading last night, I realized that the answer to anger is also thankfulness.
What? It is that simple?
God says," the answer is simple, but the act is not."
Then how do I do it?
You lead by example.
But I am just learning. I am not qualified!
Learn together. Let them know you struggle too; they aren't alone. And I do not call the qualified and equipped! I equip the called!
Then, this morning God takes me even deeper! Don't you love how He does that!?!
I was reading through Psalm 4 the other day and God really opened my eyes.
Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.
I know the beginning of the verse by heart, but I had never taken the time to read it all, or to read the next verse; to let them soak in. Do not act in the moment. Go to your room/ get away and meditate. (sometimes this is just inn your mind while you sit quietly before speaking) What do I meditate on? Can I go over and over again how this should go and how I am not in the wrong? Can I just let the anger consume me?
Well, that wouldn't be offering the sacrifice of righteousness, now would it. That isn't putting my trust in God.
Then, what in the world do I meditate on?
Thankfulness! Thank God for the moment. Thank Him for the argument. Thank Him for what He is trying to teach you. Meditate on His word, on Him. By being thankful, I am putting my trust in Him! It is acknowledging that He has this under control and He doesn't want me to sin. He wants righteousness, and that takes trust! How does it take trust? Well, what if you are right, which we all are in our own eyes. Laying it down to Him and trusting that He is going to work it all out.
WOW!! This is tuff stuff!! I think I will be spending a lot of time on my bed, by myself and with others trying to learn the art of eucharisteo. Being thankful in the hard moments and listening to God.
As I was beginning to type the verse for the anger, I thought about the verse for complaining.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice.
Once again, I haven't really let the following verses set in! I knew that living without complaining and disputing made you blameless. When I thought about this verse a little bit ago, I realized that thankfulness is the key to being blameless. But, I missed the point!
Why does it make me blameless? Because it makes me a light. I stand out. I am different from the crooked and perverse generation. How? Being thankful is not the norm. How can you be thankful when you have every right to complain? I carried a baby for 34 wks that would pass into the arms of Jesus. I knew for 6 of those weeks that she would leave me upon entering this world. According to the world, I had every right to complain and dispute. Did I? Some days yes! But, I was thankful far more. Peace reigned in me through that time by thankfulness.
It was/is a sacrifice! It is a drink offering because I am willing to drink in my circumstances and sing praises to God with them. It is a service of my faith because I am acknowledging that God is in control and I am trusting Him even though I do not like the circumstances. It is clinging to the word of life!
It isn't just the big things. It can be the mundane every day mess. I will drink the dishwasher in and pour it out to God in thanksgiving. It will change my heart and it will make me blameless. I will look crazy to the world!
Both of these are hard! They take time and effort. It takes physical therapy to recondition our hearts to be full of thankfulness. To turn from our wicked ways of anger and complaining. But, I am going to take the challenge, and I am going to challenge my family to do the same. May my children become vessels of thankfulness because they saw it in me!
Abba Father, I have failed You so many times, and I know I will continue to fail You, but You are always there teaching me. Thank You!! Forgive me. Mold my heart, Lord. Condition it to be the way You want it to be. May I look for Your praise and not the praise of man. Make me a light in this crooked and perverse generation. May You continue to shape my family. I love You!!! Thank You for loving me so very much! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.