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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Meditation: But I Like to Whine
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The old Apostle in a list of final instructions to the Christians in Thessalonica commands them to: “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I have never been accused of having a “sunny” personality. I am more the sort of person who is always “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” I should probably have the “No Whining” bumper sticker placed on my forehead as a reminder when I look in the mirror. That makes these verses a real challenge to me. Is it really possible to rejoice all the time and be grateful in all circumstances, without appearing to be some sort of religious moron?

It occurs to me that the wisdom of these verses is based on two premises. The first premise is the fact that I wouldn’t have a clue what is good or bad for me. I am like the toddler who wants what he wants although he has neither the wisdom nor maturity to know what is good for him. It is the truth that Garth Brooks crooned about in his song Unanswered Prayers. What we want is rarely good for us and the greatest disasters in our lives often bring the best results.

The second premise is God’s unswerving love and good intentions for us in Christ Jesus. He is the wise and loving Father in juxtaposition to the toddler. It is what the Hebrews called “hesed” in their Scriptures. Although hard to translate, it roughly means “loving kindness”. It is Paul’s stated reason for being able to rejoice and give thanks. It is the truth found in Romans 8:28. It is the truth that we learn in knowing Jesus. God is kindly intentioned towards us and loves us in and through all circumstances. But, of course, there is no way of knowing this apart from knowing Jesus.

Have a blessed and grateful day!

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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