How has your study been coming? I hope the video yesterday wasn't too long... again (if it was, the notes included in the post pretty much sum it up and might be quicker to read!) I actually felt less nervous with this one, however, in my comfort I talked more than planned! I just hope and pray you find it helpful, informative and uplifting. I will keep working on the time though!
This week's reflection stems from the following verse from our study:
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
My gratitude... in this topic took many years and many trials to perfect. It wasn't easy to tell the loan company that, while my car was 3 months behind after my husband was laid off in the recession, I really would catch the payments up. It was heart-wrenching trying to talk with snide customer service representatives at the electric company, begging them to work a deal with me so my kids wouldn't be cold mid-winter during this same lay-off period. I have a list, a mile long, of situations God allowed me to walk through in order to refine me and my attitude to be more reflective of Christ.
There was a day when I would go toe-to-toe with rude customer service reps. There was a time when, I am ashamed to admit, I was not the woman for a job which required extreme patience and grace. My greatest hope is that acquaintances from this period of my life don't remember me for that!
One day it clicked though. In an early morning Bible study, God spoke to me and showed me how, while the world might react with spite or anger, Christians are called to react with grace, peace, and, most of all, TRUST. Trust that God is in control and with that basic knowledge, NO, NONE, NADA... not.a.single situation needed to steal our peace unless we allowed it to.
I still remember, clear as crystal waters, later that day as I spoke on the phone with the car company. Once again re-assuring them we would catch up, I wasn't angry anymore, I wasn't bitter, I wasn't begging or complaining. I.was.at.peace. The rep noticed and commented and I had this wonderful opportunity to share my Hope. Ultimately we did end up loosing that car, but we didn't fret. I could write an entire blog post on that amazing story. I can say, in our peace, we got to share our faith with the tow-truck driver and encourage him in the midst of a rough day!
This past week I was blessed with an opportunity to remember and let the peace of Christ rule in my heart when our only car broke down. We had $20 to our name, didn't know a single trustworthy repair shop in town and had NO CLUE how we would move the car OR get hubby to work. It broke down as I pulled into the church parking lot to pick kids up from youth group and as well-meaning deacons, youth pastor, and other leaders came out to re-assure me everything would be OK, I simply smiled and said 'I know'. My kids were amazing too as they laughed and chatted on about how 'we've been through worse but God always takes care of us'. My heart swelled with gratitude and pride for them, for life's hard times which made this one so much easier to bear and, most of all, for a God who counts me worthy of His teaching and care!
P.s. The car is back in order enough to use, God took care of it for us!
What are you thankful for as the result of Christ's peace ruling in your heart this week?
Post your own Gratitude Reflections this week, share the button and share your post in comments below and/or on my Facebook page! Let us encourage each other this week.
Start a gratitude leaf theme for yourself or with your children using construction paper OR this free printable (you can cut them out too!). You can find display inspiration in Friday's post from week 1: