Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)
TITLE: RePeaT, RePeaT!!
By June Dickie
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But Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians (5:16-18, NET) comes to challenge me: "Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks." Three short cracks of the whip for those of us who easily fall into fretting and fuming!
When one is in the sludge-mire of self-pity, or caught in the craftiness of the enemy, rejoicing does not bubble forth. It takes hard work, beginning with the choice to rejoice. That is the first key: to choose to put one's hope in Him, rather than to rant and rave.
The next key is to pray, and let the bitterness out. In the presence of the Lord, the poison can burst forth! The Psalmist encourages us, "Pour out your heart before Him." (Psa.62:8, NET) He can handle it, but no-one else can. He alone can take the pain or anger, and neutralize its negativity.
Once the core of the matter has been dealt with, one can move on to thanksgiving. Instead of focusing on what's not right, one can look for the positive. Yes, it is true that every picnic has its ants, but it is also true that every anthill gives one a better view. Romans 8:28 (NET) tells us that the Lord works everything for "good" for those who love Him. It may not be the "best", His perfect will, but out of every nest of difficulty, He can bring something of benefit to us. The ants may be irritating, but if we climb the anthill, we will see over the wall.
So these are three keys I commit to use this next week: R (for rejoice), P (for pray), and T (for thanksgiving). Put together I get the word RePeaT. I realize that these keys may not open the door immediately. I may need to go through the cycle several times before a crack of light may pierce the darkness and lift me out of the murky swamp of murmuring.
This Scripture then has hit the mark today ... there’s been an "ow!", but there's also been a "wow!". The light has come, I see a window of escape. The spirit of heaviness can be cast aside, and the garment of praise can once more be worn with ease.
Please Lord, each time I feel myself slipping down the steep slide of dismal darkness, help me to grasp hold of your truth, and to RePeaT, RePeaT, until You show me the sunrise.
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