Earlier this week a warm front from the Gulf of Mexico clashed with a cold air current coming to us from the northern states. The clear, temperate weather unexpectedly turned gray and humid, and finally gave way to torrential downpours and dazzling lightning bolts typical of the midafternoon summer storms. The Tampa Bay sewer systems were rapidly overwhelmed by the massive amount of rain and many people were left stranded as they deserted their flooded cars for higher ground.
Amidst this display of vicious weather, the Red Cross still found a way to find and assist those in need, as many were severely affected by the chaos brought on by the storm, particularly the areas’ elderly living in mobile homes. Yet, for some displaced citizens, the kind acts of generosity bestowed on them by the Red Cross were not enough. These people I truly pity. Understanding that they may have suffered great material loss and many were left uninsured and frustrated by their sudden misfortune, they were blind to the grace and mercy that was shown to them by God’s army of servants.
The bible commands all of God’s children to be grateful. “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy…” (2 Timothy 3:2)
The Red Cross served those in need after the storms by offering shelter, juice and granola bars. However, during a television interview, a short sighted woman received her provision and angrily sputtered, “Juice and a granola bar is nothing…nothing…it’s not going to get me back my furniture.”
Does this woman lack God’s peace in her heart because she has never received Christ as her savior, or because she fell headfirst into the enemy’s trap? God asks us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
It’s unfortunate that not everyone is able to identify the blessings brought into their lives, and we should pray for those individuals, that their spirit is renewed and refreshed by the wisdom of the kingdom of heaven and not struck down by the trappings of this world.
What is more unfortunate is not only that this woman fell to her misfortune, but that she disgraced herself publicly, on television for all to see. Let’s think about our own dark moments, the times when we disgrace ourselves and our Lord, in thought, word and deed. Whether or not we have witnesses, He knows, He hears, and He is waiting with open arms for us to stop, regroup, and repent.
Even the apostle Paul declared that he must die daily and renew his promise to the Lord each day as he kept his gaze heavenward. “The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him.” (2 Timothy 2:11)
We can also follow in the footsteps of the great prophet Daniel, who, after being condemned by the king to being thrown into the lion’s den, retired to his room and sank to his knees in thanksgiving, for he knew he belonged to the Lord. “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem; and he got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” (Daniel 6:10)
Do not let circumstances blind you of drag you into darkness. Instead always keep a loving heart for God and all those who serve Him. Be thankful for God’s grace in your life!
We thank you for forgiving our sins
And for your inspiration in our lives,
We thank you for your all mightiness
And for your strong hand in directing us.
Lord father we ask that you continue to shine your light bright,
Upon those who walk in your light and those who seek you
And help us serve you and lead others to you in this life
So we all can rejoice with you in the next.
God please lay your hand on critical hearts, our friends and families
Enlighten us with your gratefulness Lord
And guide our footsteps each and every day.
God we thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Elizabeth St.Pierre