I never knew just how infectious ingratitude could be!
Actually if you had asked a week ago, I'd have declared myself a grateful person but now I'm struggling not to hang my head in shame.
James wasn't kidding when he stuck the label 'controversial' on the human tongue. One day its blessing, the next it's cursing. Maybe not cursing at anyone in particular but cursing at circumstances - and that's exactly what I found myself doing for more than half an hour this morning.
On hindsight, I don't understand what it is that makes me want to curtain the fact that I'm blessed. I know it and most days I think I appreciate it but let someone else acknowledge my blessing and it spins me into a tirade of everything that doesn't fit my notion of 'perfect' circumstances. You probably know what I mean...there's what was wrong with my job, wrong with my friends, wrong with my family, and wrong with my life.
Most of the people I know have something to complain about, and fitting in makes perfect sense, after all, how dare I say things are great when everyone else is complaining.
It's a familiar story isn't it? The first leper turns and the others begin to follow. Sure, they are healed. Sure, years of prayer just got answered but what do they do? They move on to get confirmation that they have no more complaints.
It is -after all- what everyone else is doing isn't it?
Look at the Israelites in the desert. A lifetime of prayer has been answered. They are free. They've escaped Pharaoh’s chariots. They've seen pillars of fire and cloud. They've passed through the sea...and what are they doing?
They are complaining.
I'm willing to bet it started out with a few and spread like wildfire.
The desert was too hot...
The food was monotonous...
The company was boring...
The water supply was erratic...
The first lady was too dark...
…and when exactly would they get to the promised land?
Joshua knew the power of the majority. I suspect that's why he used the words 'as for me'. These are words that say a lot. Words that say forget the majority, forget what friends may do, forget different opinions. It's a phrase that promises allegiance.
Allegiance that can be pledged in many ways.
The leper could have gone along with his peers. Coming back to Christ to say “thank you” was a major coup d’état against the current.
Too many times I don't count my blessings.
The weather is too hot...
The bosses are too strict...
The government is too corrupt...and when... just when is my number one prayer going to be answered?
Thinking about it makes me hang my head but hope comes in a phrase.
A phrase spoken by God himself.
A phrase that calls for a meeting of minds.
A phrase found in the 18th verse of Isiah's first chapter.
Come let us reason together, though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.
God's forgiveness brings a smile. I haven't run out of second chances with him.
That's something to be grateful for. A gratitude that I hope infects someone else.
That someone else could be you.
Afra Opoku is a Christian Writer who delights in painting word portraits of a tender hearted King.
Her book “He Restoreth My Soul” is available in the Kindle store on Amazon.com