"For although they knew God (referring to mankind), they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." Romans 1: 21-23
I found it interesting to see where the change happened in these verses. It starts off by saying that "they knew God", but goes onto say that they "neither glorified Him nor gave thanks to Him". This is where the sin came into place. Because they did not glorify or give thanks to God, their "thinking became futile and their foolish hearts darkened".
These verses reminded me once again of the importance of gratitude. Gratitude and giving glory to God is what prevents us from giving into our own selfish desires and foolish thinking.
As I thought about these verses, I immediately knew this truth was the same in my life. When we first had to evacuate South Sudan, I slipped into "self-pity" mode. I was shell-shocked by how quickly everything happened and immediately starting having thoughts of, "Why would this happen to us?" and "What does this mean for our ministry in South Sudan for the long-term?". These thoughts in and of themselves are not sinful, but it is where my heart can wander after thinking them that pulls me away from gratitude and into self-pity land.
Although this has been an extremely challenging time for us as we are still in the "limbo" period of having to evacuate Mundri, we have a lot to be grateful for in the midst of it. Thinking of the blessings God has provided for us in hard times is not simply a way to ignore the struggle of what is going on or pretend the good things outweigh the bad. However, it is a way of acknowledging God's goodness and provision in the midst of our struggles. A way of realizing that He is caring for us well, even when we are going through storms in our lives.
There are many, many things that we have been blown away by in this time. Here are three things that have been huge blessings in the midst of our current situation.
|Flowers outside of the house we get to|
stay in while we are here in Kijabe
|The Serge Kijabe Team while making pizzas together|
2. While we are here in Kijabe, we are a part of the Serge team here. It is such a joy to be a part of this team for this time! We immediately felt welcomed and accepted into the Serge family here. What a blessing it is to have a team around us for this time and have such a great community here. We are so grateful for each person on this time and thankful to have this time in Kijabe with them!
3. If you know me, you know that I love to teach. Teaching students and being around children is my passion. The fact that we get to teach during this time of being out of South Sudan is amazing to me. I am grateful that we all get to do something in this time that is meaningful and lasting. We have the opportunity to pour into students' lives and teach them more about being children of God. We are grateful for the ability to teach and have a focus and purpose in this time.
My prayer is that we will continue to be grateful even in the midst of storms. I pray that we would see gratitude as a way of glorifying God and taking the focus off ourselves. May we trust in God's provision for us and see how abundantly He provides for His children. I pray that you, also, would have a grateful heart today and take time to acknowledge God's provision in your life.