It ain’t always easy to say “thank you”
The spice box
by Sharon Robertson, Lt. Colonel –
One thing about elections—there are always those who are pleased with the results, and those who are not pleased. I was reminded by Major Joy Brown, retired officers’ counselor for the Del Oro Division, that now that the national elections are over, it is time for all of us to accept Paul’s teaching in Romans 13:1, ”Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (NIV).
No matter how we may have voted—and I assume that Christians cast their votes only after much prayer—we will have a new President in January. Like it or not, “The authorities that exist have been established by God.” It is time to seek God’s blessing for our land, and move on. It is time for Christian citizens to thank God for answered prayer (like it or not) and pray that he will bless our President and congressional leadership with wisdom and compassion, and trust that he will. It ain’t always easy to say “thank you.”
Perhaps it is good that Thanksgiving comes immediately after the elections, and what a blessing it is that Thanksgiving Day itself has been preserved when so many sacred holidays and practices are being called into question by those who oppose religion in general and Christianity in particular. Let us pray also for those holidays and traditions that have been so important to so many in the development of our country. And let us pray for the salvation of those who as so misled as to believe they do our country a favor by opposing the free expression of religion by individuals both in and outside the government. It isn’t always easy to pray for those with whom we disagree. It ain’t always easy to say “thank you” to God for the things that wake us up to the demands of Christian duty.
Nor is it any easier to accept opposition in our personal lives. We find it easy to pray that God will intervene on our behalf, to pray that those who may be responsible for wounding us, or our children by their words or actions will come to understand how wrong—sinful, if you will—are their motivation and actions. It is not nearly so easy to say (and mean) thanks to God for the opportunity to re-evaluate our own motivations, words and actions, and to seek his guidance in responding with wisdom and compassion to hurtful situations. It ain’t always easy to say “thank you.”
The problem of pain and suffering will remain with us until the end of this age—until the Lord returns to claim his own and to introduce his holy and eternal kingdom. Physical and mental disease and pain, financial worries, wars and rumors of wars, violence and threats of violence, trying to live our lives as persons (and parents) committed to God and his will, knowing all the while that a sinful society is not satisfied merely to lurk outside the door, but would aggressively exert pressures of all kinds to gain entry and subvert the Godly influences within the home. How does one deal with it? How is one to live as a committed Christian in a world equally committed to opposing Godly influences? How does one count blessings when the roof is falling in? It ain’t always easy to say “thank you.”
And yet, there is Thanksgiving. Why? Is Thanksgiving a farce, a fabrication to give us an excuse to gorge on good food, good fellowship and good football? No way! Thanksgiving is a precious day of remembrance, a day to consider all that God has done and is doing on our behalf. Thanksgiving is Appreciation Day, dedicated to our God – in whom and through whom we have been so richly blessed. Thanksgiving is a day set aside to praise God and, having recognized His goodness, commit ourselves to daily celebrate His wisdom and compassion by living out His Will by aggressively declaring His message to a sinful world:
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 NIV).