2010-11-03 - Give Thanks
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I hate my job on most nights. Isn't that just a great spiritual way to start a devotional about giving thanks? I don't think so, either, but honestly, it's the truth. I drive taxicab all night. For 12 hours on the nights I work, I am either picking people up and deliver them to where they are going, or I am waiting for someone to call who needs to go somewhere. It's not the picking up and delivering that I dislike, neither is it the waiting. (I actually get a lot done while I am waiting! I come home and clean house, or make jewelry or read or ...)
The parts that I dislike are these: I work at night ... I pick people up at bars. Until about 3am. Very drunk people usually. And I don't always make much money, sometimes I don't make $2 an hour. Very drunk people don't make sense. They don't understand reality. They are over-emotional and under-rational. I have to go into a strip joint to get the men who called (or who the bouncer called me to come and pick up). I "get" to see 18 and 19 year old girls wearing nothing but a smile selling themselves to men who don't care about them.
Both break my heart. Like I said, I hate my job on most nights. Friday nights and Saturday nights are the worst.
And then, God showed me my "real" job. Every person who gets into my cab is someone to minister to. Each person is someone He loves. All of my bills are paid each month, He meets my needs, it's not about how much or how little money I make, that is irrelevant. His question to me is this ... "will you love them for My sake or will you grumble and complain about them? I will meet your needs, will you show them My Kingdom?"
I have been gifted with the ability to pray with a few people about their problems that are either self-inflicted or the results of someone else, but I get to pray with them, nonetheless for God to help them not only with the problem, but to seek Him in it.
What an eye opener! In everything give thanks...every thing. Paul wrote, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need" (Phil 4:12)
It's so much easier to give thanks - in every thing - when we realize that it's not about us. We aren't here to find happiness, success or wealth. We are here to love God and show other people the Kingdom. It's easier to give thanks when we look at it from His angle.
Ah, He does love us so!
Father, thank you for this day You have given me. Remind me over and over and again and again that You have given me so much to be thankful for! You are such a good God, please, allow me to show someone that wonderful thing!"