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Monday, February 13, 2012

Gratefulness


Before our trip to Florida and California I picked up a journal that had on it's front cover, "in everything give thanks" and have been writing daily with this in mind. 
  • When our flight was delayed and we arrived in the Orlando hotel at 2 am. We gave thanks that it was really only 11:00 pm and the hotel clerk upgraded us, out of pity perhaps, to a suite with Jacuzzi hot tub and big screen TV and kitchen and more. We slept in the next morning then relaxed by the pool.
  • When the power went out after dark that night, we were thankful that we, coming from the islands, had a flashlight with us to see our way around and when the torrential rains started we were indoors.
  • When we awoke at 2 am to loud dripping noises, we were glad the lights were on again and could see that the water was pouring out of the light fixtures above. We gathered pots and pans from the kitchen to catch the pours and called the front desk who sent up staff  who knew that mopping up was not an option. They moved us to another room on the opposite side of the same floor, everything was backwards from before. (It turns out that the first room above had 2 inches of water in it, a pipe had broken in the suite next to the one above.) We were grateful we did not live in a place that was permanently without electricity and water falling all around inside in downpours such as most of the third world. We started to wonder about the rest of the trip's tests but rememered this:
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil 4:8
According to a book I was reading*  If you can't think of anything worthy of praise, "...try to think of others rather than oneself, and look for the grace that is unfailingly present." 
* "Therefore I have Hope", Growing with my Garden:Thoughts on Tending the Soil and Soul, Rolland Hein, (Chicago: Cornerstone Press, 2004) p75
Here is a video that demonstrates this:
Interview of Alice Herz-Sommer 108 year old Holocaust survivor

Can you praise God for the difficulties in your life? If you cannot, ask others to pray for you to find the grace and hope needed.