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DEVOTIONAL: Forgive Me When I Whine

Do everything without complaining or arguing… -Philippians 2:14 (GNT)

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is God’s will for me?,” here’s one answer not only for the fourth Thursday in November, but for every day: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT).”

So, if being thankful is a command from the Bible, then its flip side, “don’t complain,” must be one too. Although it has some dated language and unclear authorship, this poem from years ago sums up the beauty of counting our blessings and being grateful.

Today upon a bus, I saw
A lovely maid with golden hair; I envied her – she seemed so gay –
And oh, I wished I were so fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle,
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
But as she passed, a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two feet – the world is mine.

And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
The lad who served me had such charm;
He seemed to radiate good cheer,
His manner was so kind and warm.
I said, “It’s nice to deal with you,
Such courtesy I seldom find.”
He turned and said, “Oh, thank you, sir!”
And I saw that he was blind.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes – the world is mine.

Then, when walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play;
It seemed he knew not what to do,
I stopped a moment, then I said:
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word,
And then I knew; He could not hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two ears – the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go,
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow,
With ears to hear what I should know:
I’m blessed indeed, The world is mine;
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

Writing decades ago when a million dollars was worth far more than it is today, author and motivational speaker Dale Carnegie asked: “Would you sell both your eyes for a million dollars…or your two legs…or your hands…or your hearing? Add up what you do have, and you’ll find you won’t sell them for all the gold in the world. The best things in life are yours, if you can appreciate them.”

Do you have an attitude of gratitude?


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