“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18
Ugh. I had forgotten my sneakers. How could I take one of my rigorous walks with my dog through the park I had just driven 25 minutes to walk in? Walking fast a long distance in hot pink colored Crocs shoes would never work. My only pair of sneakers was in horrible shape, mind you, with the bottom of one sneaker flapping on and off, but still would have worked if I had remembered them. No way would I drive 25 minutes to go get them. I hurried to the local thrift shop and found a too big pair of sneakers for $10. I do my best to save money, spend minimally and wisely, and conserve as much as possible for the Lord’s work. Little did I know how comfy, sturdy, and perfect those $10 thrift shop sneakers would be. I was so thankful for those sneakers with which the Lord blessed me – until they developed a horribly loud and obnoxious squeak. My thanksgiving was quickly gone. I fell into complaining.
Right around that time, the manager at the oil change place surprised me by taking wipers from his recycle bin and replacing my old ones with better ones. I was so thankful – until I drove off and the next time it rained noticed the awful squeak of one of them and a big black ugly rectangular and distracting piece in the middle of the other one. My thanksgiving disappeared. I fell headfast into complaining.
When God in His Word tells us to do something, and we go against His command, we sin against Him. God’s will is for us to be thankful, as the verse above states, and He makes it abundantly clear in His Word that complaining is sin. He had so graciously blessed me with wonderful inexpensive sneakers and free wiper blades, and I had rapidly gone from being thankful to griping about what He had given me.
I considered getting new sneakers but kept the squeaky ones. I returned several times to the oil change place to ask the managers to fix the squeak and to get other recycled wipers. I was thrilled when the squeak was gone but noticed the next time it rained the squeaky windshield wiper had been replaced with another wiper with that yucky black box. I am easily distracted, and the type to notice something like that as it moves up and down my windshield when it rains. I considered returning to the oil change place to request another replacement. But then between the sneakers and the wipers I saw what God was showing me. I needed to repent of my complaining and return to being thankful. That squeaky sneaker and yucky black box windshield wiper were the perfect reminders to thank Him for His amazing goodness and endless blessings – most importantly for Himself and for through Christ being in fellowship with Him forever!