Last week I felt the same way towards God when the week began Monday morning with unpleasant dental news involving a consultation with an oral surgeon later this month. The ground lost to gratitude there, at the gates of the week, left me ill-equipped to deal with the other minor aches and pains popping up afterwards, the further frustration of smacking headlong into the reality that "improved pain control" does not mean "normal" or "no boundaries," and impatience to see answers to prayers for loved ones suffering more than I am. Knowing how tiny my troubles are compared to those of the Japanese and Libyan people and others closer to home only adds guilt to the mix.
This week I have stumbled in practicing celebration. I may have successfully practiced lament, depending on where the line falls between worshipping through lament as the Psalmists did and just plain whining. I'm guessing I was on the whining side of the line..
Thankfully, the week ended better than it began, and today fresh mercies give me a fresh start to realize the words of George Mueller (quoted in John Piper's When I Don't Desire God):
When he was seventy-six, he wrote the same thing he had learned for fifty years: "I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord" (119, emphasis mine).This week, I give thanks to God (sometimes by faith) for
~dentists and my misbehaving tooth
~the rest of the medical professionals with whom I have frequent fellowship
~aches and pains, weaknesses and difficulties
~delayed answers to prayer
~unexpected encouragement from a bloggy friend
~time with my mom two days in a row
~guidance to quick resolution of a tech support problem way beyond my pay grade
~wisteria in bloom at the end of the lane
~tea in my favorite cup
~sister bringing back treats from her spring break trip
~a new Carolina chickadee guest at our feeder
~the perfect cliche-blue sky and cotton ball clouds today
~a neighbor boy offering to help the husband clean up all the branches thinned out of the live oak out front
~phrases from Ann's book calling me back to gratitude:
"Life is not an emergency."
"Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle."
"God is always good, and I am always loved."
(from the gratitude journal, #4079-93)