(Philippians 4:8 NIV)
Did you know that Pope Benedict has written an encyclical (a letter intended for wide circulation) entitled DEUS CARITAS EST (bet you did not expect to be learning Latin today huh?) Translated it reads ~~~ GOD IS LOVE.
Benedict says: The God that moved the sun and the stars has a human face and a human heart. To me that also means He, God, shares in our humanity as we hope to share in His Divine Glory one day in the future.
Perhaps your day began like mine. When I awoke, I thought about how my body hurt and where – neck, low back, left leg – I took my usual inventory. It was a restless night anyway, so I should have expected it to continue into morning. After taking pain medication, I turned on the news. I learned, after watching about murders, rapes, political controversy and traffic jams, that today (October 15) is “National Grouch Day”. “No wonder!” I thought.
With frustration, I turned to my daily scripture reading in Philippians Chapter 4. I quickly realized that it wasn’t what was wrong with the world and with me that was the problem, it was my attitude.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on what is “lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy”. As a person who lives with chronic pain, it can be difficult to focus on what’s right, instead of what’s wrong. It truly takes conscious effort, especially when the pain and our lives seem unbearable.
But God gives us His power and strength to deal with our difficulties (II Corinthians 12:8-9) and He gives us love so great and deep and perfect that we can be filled with it if we only seek it (Ephesians 3:16-19). Surely these are things that are excellent and worthy of praise to reflect on often!
And with His perfect love, I can spread it to others – a kind word to the lady next door; a heartfelt prayer for the little girl with cancer; a card to the friend who had surgery. God gives us the ability to change our thoughts to good, giving us things that He would have us think on, even in the middle of difficulties. If we ask Him, he will show us those ways to reach out to others with His love.
So may your day tomorrow begin differently if it began like mine did today. God knows what we are going thru; he knows our pains and discomforts. We are instructed to Rejoice in the Lord Always. Again I say Rejoice!”(Philippians 4:4).
(I used this talk one Sunday when I was invited to share some thoughts with My Church Family – I know the idea came to me after reading something on line, but I cannot remember where from. If this is originally your item which I have adapted, please let me know so I can give credit where it is due. Thank you.)