One of the news headlines I was following this week was the fires that are raging in California. As of writing this post, there are still 563 people unaccounted for and 83 confirmed deaths as a result of these fires. Some things that struck me was, first, this is the weekend Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Second, many of the people that lost their homes are the Hollywood superstar actors and actresses with multi-million dollar homes. Third, this is also Black Friday weekend where people rush and sometimes step over others to get the best deals at their favourite stores. Isn’t it interesting that while some Americans will be running to the stores this weekend to get that flat screen TV, others are running for their lives from the fires? What an ironic picture. We have so much to be thankful for, but what if everything you owned burned to the ground, could you still be thankful in a time like that? A devotional thought came to my mind as I was thinking about this. In Matthew 6:19-20, Jesus reminds us not to focus on creating wealth and comfort for ourselves here on earth where things corrode and break down, but to focus on the glory that’s to come. Let’s make sure we have a grateful attitude all year round not just one day a year, after all, everything can be taken away in the blink of an eye, but that doesn’t compare to the riches in store for those that love the Lord.
Earlier this week was a short-lived white carpet. One person said, “Ole man winter is coming!” To which someone else grumbled, “it’s too soon,” and another pipped up, “I’m not ready!” Negative attitude from others affects our own approach to thinking. Do we know people who criticize, complain, murmur, or whine? When we boil it down, negativity is just discontentment and (in some cases) envy. But underneath that discontentment and envy is an even deeper issue – we’ve got a problem with God. We’re mad at God because we think He was better to someone else than He was to us. Jesus told a parable about a story of a farmer in Matthew 20 who was hiring workers. We may think, when we look at our life, that we are getting justice while someone else is getting all the grace. But before we start any negativity, first let’s thank God for our blessings. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in every circumstance… for this is the will of God…” How much better to say, “I don’t like this situation I am in, but I thank you God for the good things that will come out of it. I will praise you through it, in it, and ever after it!”