One night in church a light went on ~ it was so profound ~ kind of like I had just seen electricity for the first time. But this was no ordinary light ~ this was the light of the Holy Spirit once again nudging me and saying "This is what I’ve been trying to show you" ~ yeah, that kind of light. For those who follow my posts, you know that I read a book entitled Something More by Catherine Marshall.
Two things she talks about in the beginning chapters are 1) God is sovereign in all things, and 2) The golden bridge to the heart of God is that of praising Him in all things. And, if we will praise God in all things then we will see marvelous results ~ and God can do His perfect work through us. I made mention that I was going to give this a try ~ to simply be of a thankful spirit and praise God no matter what. I wrote those particular posts back in the summer. And I have to tell you that the results have been heart-warmingly awesome.
It hasn't been the easiest of tasks. It surely helped me see just how much I do complain ~ from summer heat to human rudeness. I’ve been telling the girls through out this spiritual experiment "It seems when we grumble and complain that things don’t get any better - they actually get worse. It also seems that when we praise God no matter what and are thankful in all things that life seems significantly smoother sailing." I actually made that comment again this morning.
So one Sunday night the preacher was talking about grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit. He said "One way that we grieve and quench the Holy Spirit, is when we are not in fellowship with others ~ like our church or family, etc. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us. If He is quenched then that guidance is not going to happen." That is about the time that the light really came on. I knew what I had been applying to my life. I knew what I had been telling my daughters ~ about praising rather than grumbling and complaining. I even knew that it was working. But I can’t tell you for sure that I knew ALL of why it was working ~ not until I heard that sermon. I found myself wanting to shout out "AHA" or "EUREKA" or some phrase like that when a great discovery has been made! I reckon it is a good thing I didn’t since the preaching was going on at the time. (Smiling)
I know that grumbling and complaining is wrong (Philippians 2:14 says Do all things without murmurings and disputings). I know that it is sin. And I know that sin quenches the Holy Spirit. But I don’t think I had really stopped to think about the ramifications when I complain and grumble (especially when it is about something that I might consider an injustice). Not only is the tone of the environment a negative one ~ but as well life is bumpier ~ whether that be the way others are toward me, the way I am toward others, and even the level of peace (or the lack thereof) that I can have in my heart and mind in dealing with life issues.
I hope I’m not stirring up muddy water here because this was really big for me to grasp and if it helped me that much I know it can be a help to others. This little experiment, that I began in mid-summer has had magnificent results. I’m not telling you that I am now problem-free. I’m not telling you that life is now a breeze and I'm skipping through life without a care in the world. I’m just saying that when we praise God in all things ~ no matter what ~ even if it does involve what we consider injustices against us ~ He is faithful to reward us with some peace, and joy, and contentment. He is faithful to correct those very problems that we have been grumbling and complaining about. Eureka!
Skillet Spanish Rice
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