Thursday, February 23, 2012

2nd Day of Lent

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV

Uh-oh. Look at those words up there. "Always." "Continually." "All." Once again, I find myself falling short of God's will. If I had written this letter, it probably would have said, "Rejoice when things are going well, pray when you need something, give thanks when you have something to be happy about..."   

But that's not what we're told to do. The verses remind us to do these things ALL the time! How on earth is that possible? Well, on earth it probably isn't. With some heavenly help, though? Maybe then we can tackle them. 

I don't think this passage is telling us that we will always be happy, that if we follow Jesus, life will be peaches and cream, or a barrel of monkeys, or whatever idiom you'd like to use. I see it more as reminding us that no matter what is going on, we can rejoice as Christians if we remember the bigger picture. Praying is just talking to God, right? And I regularly talk to myself "without ceasing," it seems. How much better off would I be if I spent that time talking -- and more importantly, listening -- to God?

If you have never read Corrie Ten Boom's book, The Hiding Place, let me recommend it to you. In thinking about these verses from 1 Thessalonians, I was reminded of her story about being thankful for fleas. Yes, fleas. You can find a transcription of that story here. I certainly can't say it any better.

I hope that this little post will remind you ME to look for the joy in every situation, to give thanks for things that seem insignificant, and to quiet my internal chatter long enough to listen. Lent is a season of preparation, not of despair. Look toward the joy, and be thankful on the journey.     

© Laura M. Botts, 2012 

No comments: