As is often the case, when I determine to teach a topic to my children, the Lord turns my attention inward first. Hmmph. But in the case of thankfulness, I’ve got that one under control, right? I mean, I can list a whole bunch of things I’m thankful for, so I must be a thankful person, right?
And, oh yes, today is Wisdom Wednesday once again. Let’s not get sidetracked. Here are some verses for today.
All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Proverbs 15:15-17
I love this little set, and it reminds me that contentment is more important than things. But I want to apply this verse. I want it to change me, so I began by thinking about all the “afflicted” moments I might have— yes, sleepless nights are an affliction. So are crying babies who don’t want to be put down (and I’m not talking about spoiled babies). A messy house (and even though it’s often my own doing, it can be an affliction) can be an affliction.
Oh, there are far more afflictions that we all face, aren’t there? A relative who is not walking with God, a parent who has a terminal illness, turmoil at our husbands’ jobs, teenagers who are going their own way. And I realize that the Proverb is true: large or small trials, it matters not. Every day has something to complain about. I have the responsibility to choose how I want my day to be: afflicted and miserable, or a celebration of God’s love and care for me.
Now that God has shown me that I can use this lesson as much as my own children, He’s teaching me what to do instead. Nowhere am I told to deny the difficult situations God has given me. Paul acknowledges his sufferings (II Corinthians 11:23-33), yet he tells us from a prison cell that he has learned to be content. If you read all of Second Corinthians, you’ll find that Paul can speak of an infirmity without complaining because he is looking from God’s perspective at his life. In contrast, the children of Israel angered God when they murmured and complained. Last week, Lee explained that God takes complaining seriously because when we complain, we are attacking the character of an all-powerful and all-loving God.
So, how is God using these passages to actually change me? Well, I’m determined to tell God thank you for the difficult things he gives me and to ask His grace to see them as He sees them. I can remind myself of His goodness. I can rejoice at the spiritual growth I see (and see coming) instead of focusing on the difficulty of the task. And I can do all of that again right now.
I’d sure like to see how you are pursuing wisdom. If you would like to use the graphics on your own blog, see this page here.