For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. I Timothy 4:4
There are a lot of things that aren’t my cup of tea. Stuffing, cantaloupe, green bean casserole. Oh and sore throats, mean people, and thorns in my flesh.
We don’t always get to choose what cup of tea we are served up. Sometimes life just happens despite our best efforts to live in heaven-on-earth. Last week I locked myself out of my car. Along with my phone. At the gas pump. Yeah.
In that moment we are served up that cup, though, we get to choose. Will this be received with thanksgiving? Will I turn everything back to the Lord in praise? Will I meet Jesus in the middle of this?
Nothing is to be refused if received with thanksgiving.
We may not get to choose which cross is offered us. But, we do get to choose if we bear it up for the cause of Christ. Be it a temptation, a trial or a persecution, God gives us the choice as to how it is received and whether it is fully consumed.
When St. Therese was a child her older sister decided to pass along her dolls and doll trimmings to the younger sisters. St. Therese records it like this:
A day came when Leonie, thinking she was too old now to play with dolls, came along to us with a basket full of dresses and pretty little bits of stuff for making others, with her own doll lying on the top. “Here you are, darlings,” she said, “choose which of these you’d like; they’re all for you.” Celine put her hand in and brought out a little ball of silken braid which had taken her fancy. I thought for a moment, and then said, as I held out my hand: “I choose the whole lot!” Then, without further ceremony, I took over the basket. Everybody said I was quite within my rights, and Celine never dreamt of making any protest. …
Only a childish trait, perhaps, but in a sense it’s been the key to my whole life. Later on, when the idea of religious perfection came within my horizon, I realised [sic] at once that there was no reaching sanctity unless you were prepared to suffer a great deal, to be always on the look-out for something higher still, and to forget yourself. There were plenty of degrees in spiritual advancement, and every soul was free to answer our Lord’s invitation by doing a little for him, or by doing a lot for him; in fact, he gave it a choice between various kinds of self-sacrifice he wanted it to offer. And then, as in babyhood, I found myself crying out: “My God, I choose the whole lot. No point in becoming a Saint by halves. I’m not afraid of suffering for your sake; the only thing I’m afraid of is clinging to my own will. Take it, I want the whole lot, everything whatsoever that is your will for me.”
The end of the year always seems to get crazy busy. And with that often comes crazy stress. Crazy financial concerns. Health challenges. A thousand tiny things and some big heavy things, too. Ask the Lord for what you need: the grace to choose all. The grace to say, “Lord I am willing to offer everything thing to you in praise.”
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:18
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. I Timothy 4:4 There are a lot of things that aren’t my cup of tea. Stuffing, cantaloupe, green bean casserole. Oh and sore throats, mean people, and thorns in my flesh. We don’t always get to choose what cup […]