Sleep on This | March 26
Good evening friend:
How is your soul? Did you give it a good talking to yesterday, as I suggested? My soul is better because I took my first walk in several weeks. My cough (not COVID…just persistent) of three weeks had really limited my physical activity. But I seemed to turn a corner yesterday. And it was such a gift to be able to walk down to the post office with my beloved. It was funny as we passed people coming toward us! There was a definite LEANING away from each other…even as we smiled and greeted each other knowingly.
As we move into Philippians 2, we are stepping on holy ground and I’m going to slow down in my guided tour of this masterpiece. In verse 1, Paul says, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
Two things to understand about this passage. First, when Paul says “if” what he is REALLY saying is “since.” “Since we have encouragement in Christ…since Christian love brings us comfort…since we have the amazing privilege of participating in the work of the Holy Spirit… since we are touched daily by the affection and sympathy of brothers and sisters in Christ…” All these things are true and they deserve to be called out!
The other word I want you to notice is “any.” ANY encouragement… ANY comfort…ANY participation… ANY affection and sympathy. There are times when the blessings of God are so apparent and bountiful that we almost trip over them. There are OTHER times…maybe like this moment… when we have to look more closely for ANY example of blessing. They are there, but you have to be more diligent about spotting them, focusing on them and calling them out.
There are certainly things we can complain about if we choose. You will sleep better tonight, though, if you go through ANY and EVERY blessing you can recall and thank God for it.
Dear Lord: As I lay me down to sleep, would you flood my mind with reminders of every good gift you have given to me. Fill my thoughts and my mouth with appreciation and praise, even in a season in which it might be easy to whine. Deliver me from whining! Amen.