Hello everyone and welcome to episode 42, where Friday the 13th falls on a Wednesday this month. This 13th of November in the year of our Lord, 2019. I hope you’re not superstitious; instead, this is a month to be most thankful.
Later this month, at Thanksgiving dinner, like a lot of families, we go around the table and everyone shares what they have been thankful for this year. The expressions of gratitude are usually the same: for family, good health, prayers that have been answered, and maybe one or two events from the past year.
It’s always good to re-affirm blessings like these. They’re the good things of life that deserve to be acknowledged. But what about the not-so-good things? Is it possible to be grateful for them? I think there is. I think we can find a measure of gratitude in our relationship with the annoyances and irritations of life that can actually bring us joy.
Let me explain.
My current ;ist of irritations:
- Dental bill for Janet’s root canal
- Our grandfather clock doesn’t strike 2 anymore
- Crack in our driveway
- The “A” on my computer keyboard.
Where the joy is to be found in these irritations:
There is joy in realizing that no one is out to get me at the dental office or the insurance company. That I’m not a victim. Most people are trying. They may be in a dead-end job they don’t like for no other reason than to support their family. I’ve had a job or two like that in my life. So I can relate. If I want to.
There is joy in appreciating that I’m not in control nearly as much as I think I am. These annoyances remind me I need Jesus. They remind me to focus on the important stuff.
There is joy in being reminded that all these irritations of life are a result of the Fall. That we live in a fallen world, that was never the way God intended our life to be. But it’s not going to be like this forever.
There is joy found in knowing God understands what we’re going through, and as it says of Him in Ephesians 1:10, “At the right time God will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and and on earth.”
There is joy in knowing that all the irritations of life will one day cease. When my life ends here on earth, and my new one starts in heaven , there will be no more annoyances, no more mail from the the dental clinic about an overdue bill.
Revelation 21 talks about the new heaven and the new earth that awaits us as follower of Jesus. It’s where there will be no more death, or sorrow, or pain. All these things will be gone forever.
Here’s what I learned today.
More importantly, I’d appreciate reading YOUR takeaways from today’s program in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes. Or you can send them in an email to me. But for now, here’s what I learned:
- Don’t let annoyances rob us of the joy of being fully present in the here and now
- Adjust our expectations. There is something wrong with EVERYTHING.
- Anticipate and appreciate what heaven will be like, where there will never be any any problems. Where nothing is broken.
- In the light of eternity, all problems and irritations are temporary. It’s part of having a theology of suffering.
- We will rarely be thankful for the irritation when it first happens. But give it some time to marinate in our heart, and in time, the gratitude, and even joy, will emerge.
Before I close, here’s the he main take-away from today’s episode, our show in a sentence
The irritations of life, if we let them, can drive us to gratitude to Jesus for calming our hearts when we put these annoyances of life in proper perspective, knowing that in light of eternity, they are only temporary.
Here’s what we can do in response to today’s show
A few things come to mind:
Stare our pet peeves in the face, with a big smile on our face, and repeat, “this too will pass.”
Make a list of all the things that bother us, and in prayer, ask the Lord to give us an eternal perspective about them
Anticipate things will go wrong. Don’t be surprised.
Find the humor.
Thank you for listening in today. If you found the program helpful I’d appreciate you writing a brief review in iTunes. This will help search engines get our podcast out to more people.
As always, you can find the show notes for the episode by going to johncertalic.com/podcast.
Now for Our Relationship Quote of the Week
“People who say that small things don't bother them have never slept in a room with a mosquito.” –Dennis Rainey
That’s all for today. See you next week. Bye for now.
Episode 41: Thankful for the cheerleaders in my life.