Yesterday's devotion (Jon Courson's A Day's Journey) struck a chord with me.
Courson takes a short verse to drive home a very important point:
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles... Ephesians 3:1Paul more than likely wrote Ephesians from prison. Instead of writing, "Whoa is me! I'm in prison. Life stinks. Why did God allow me to be locked up here in this God-forbidden place?"
Which is definitely what I would have written. And it would have gone down in Biblical history that I am a complainer. Yes, I am. Admitting it is half the problem, right?
But not Paul. He saw his prison sentence as an opportunity to witness to others around him. In Philippians 4:22, we see his prison guards were saved and then went to Caesar's palace as "born again believers". (Courson, p. 285)
And without his prison term, we would miss some valuable scripture, such as Ephesians.
Courson continues, and I'm just going to quote him, because he's so good at doing what he does.
Why do I point this out? Because I think happy will be the one who realizes that wherever he is has been ordained by the Lord to bring about good things if he will ave eyes to see and patience to wait. Whenever I complain about my circumstances or situation, I am really complaining about my Father, for it is He who sets my course and determines my days.(The italics are mine. Just trying to drill this point into my thick skull.)
Paul never lost his perspective. That is why he could say, 'I'm a prisoner of Jesus Christ, for it is He who has captivated my heart and brought me to this place.
I don't know about you, but I'm not a prisoner by any means. I'm typing on my Mac from the comfort of my couch with my boys all resting in their comfy beds and my hard-working husband expected to arrive home for dinner in a few hours. And yet I still manage to find something to complain about.
If I am a prisoner, it is only because I have put myself there emotionally.
Because God has ordained my life, when I complain, I am complaining about His plan.
I think this is another lesson in making lemonade out of lemons.
Father, please forgive me for complaining. I realize that I am called to live my life without complaining or arguing. (Philippians 2:14) Please drive this point to my heart: You have ordained my life, and I need to watch patiently for the way You plan to use every circumstance to glorify You.