“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing “(Philippians 2:14-16 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Sometimes we like what life serves up to us, and sometimes we don’t, but most of the time it simply depends on the attitude of the person holding the spoon. Such was the case one evening when I went out to dinner with friends to the Sanitary Fish Market. I know that is a strange name for a seafood restaurant, but it was a great place that everyone frequented in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Since the food was good, I guess it was a nice plus to know that it was sanitary as well.One evening, when I was eighteen-years-old, I went out to dinner with three friends. Three of us were Christians and the fourth was not. Larry was very macho and preferred the, “I’m in control of my destiny” approach to life. But we loved him anyway.
The three of us Christians usually took a moment to ask a blessing before we had a meal, but we had not eaten in a restaurant with Larry before. He was surprised and embarassed when we bowed our heads to pray. Larry held his head high and proud as if to say, “I might be at the same table with these people, but I’m not one of them.”
All four of us ordered clam chowder as an appetizer. We had the same waitress and same chowder, from the same pot. We three “holy rollers” (we acquired this name because of a 10-second prayer) dipped our spoons into our bowls and tasted chowder full of tender clams and steamy potatoes.
Then proud Larry dipped in his spoon to retrieve only broth. “Why is your chowder full of clams and potatoes,” he demanded, “and all I’ve got is broth?”
Larry was about to call the waitress over and complain when I looked up and said, “Well, maybe it’s because we asked God to bless ours and you didn’t.”
Larry didn’t complain to the fine people at the Sanitary, but ate “crow” instead. It is amazing how God takes a grateful heart and fills it even more! Feeling empty today? Stop and praise God for His goodness. Feeling lonely today? Stop and thank God for His presence. Feeling anxious today? Stop and thank God for His provision.
Dear Lord, so many times I am quick to complain when I haven’t even asked You to bless my day. Help me to have an attitude of gratitude and become a woman who talks to You regularly, thanks You consistently, and praises You throughout the day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now it’s Your Turn
Keep a list of all the times you complain today.
Keep a list of all the times you compliment or encourage someone today.
Keep a list of all the reasons you have to be thankful today.
More from the Girlfriends
Don’t you love reading stories of God’s fingerprints on the pages of everyday life! Sharon’s gift book, Extraordinary Moments with God is full of them. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for someone you know who needs an extra dose of heavenly inspiration…and that person may even be you!