How do you do when times get stressful? Me, I’m still learning. Here’s one of my recent lessons!
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thesselonians 5:18
Over the last few years I’ve been challenged to grow in applying my faith in every day life. One area that is constantly being worked on in my life is being content, especially in stressful situations. It’s amazing what you find out about yourself, especially when the pressure is on.
A key for me has been learning to avoid stressful conditions so that I don’t have to go through them. One way that I’m learning to avoid stress is to be “appreciative” and not “expectant.” I most definitely have a tendency to become “expectant!”
You may be thinking, “What do you mean by that?” Well, the only way to explain it is to share with you my most challenging place to stay focused, and that is the airport! For whatever reason it seems that this is where I am constantly being challenged to live what I say that I believe.
I share this at the risk of sounding like I’m “high maintenance,” but all I can do is be as transparent as possible. Because I fly so much I caught myself going to the airport expecting to get an upgrade. For three weeks straight I missed it by 1 slot! I found myself getting on the plane disappointed because I didn’t get the upgrade.
Now, please understand, I was disappointed because I’m a big guy and the extra room really comes in handy. I could care less about the free drinks because I get free Club Soda with Lime in the back the same as if I’m in the front. Now, I have to admit that the banana that I get up front instead of pretzels in the back is nice too! But, the extra room is what I’m after.
Shortly after the 3 “disappointments” while reading Philippians 2: 5-8 God confronted me with my attitude. Take a look:
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Here’s what hit me. I am a SERVANT of the Lord Jesus Christ. My Master/Savior humbled Himself and became a servant to die on a cross for me and I’m whining about extra room on a plane! When I start to feel like I “deserve” something for what I’ve done, I have to remember what I really “deserve,” and that’s death! I know this, but was embarrassed that I needed to be reminded.
The reason I’d been disappointed was because I was “expecting” the upgrade. Reading Philippians slapped me back into reality. Instead of being “expectant”, I should be “appreciative!” I thought of Luke 24:13-35 where Jesus joined two men walking to Emmaus from Jerusalem. This is about seven miles! There was no “upgrade” for these men and they sure didn’t have the nice walking shoes that we have today!
If I can keep my mind focused on that and stay obedient to what He’s called me to do, amazing things can happen. I am asking myself constantly now, am I “expectant” or “appreciative?” Right now I can tell you that I’m appreciative of the fact that anyone wants us to come and minister. Please pray for me to be able and keep that focus.
Let us know how we can pray for you. If you are on Facebook you can go to our rforh Prayer site and upload your prayer requests there. While there, please pray for the requests that other have put up. As a minimum please know this . . .
I appreciate you!! Stay Bold.