I had never heard of the phrase ~ “Pout or Praise”, until a few weeks ago while I was preparing for a Bible study, I discovered a devotional reading by Jan Silvous. I have always enjoyed reading her books that seem to always be packed with common sense and no-nonsense knowledge, so it comes as no surprise she would author a statement like “Pout or Praise”. In the devotion she writes, “when stress piles up or you are disappointed….you have a choice…you can praise or pout…that’s just what it amounts to!” In other words we can be grateful to our God who is in control or we can pout because things haven’t gone our way! hmmm…such few words, but they pack a powerful punch, don’t they?!
I have been really thinking of this phrase a lot this last week, as a dear friend whom I have worked very close with resigned her position to begin a new adventure in her life’s journey. I respect and admire her courage to move on, but I am sure going to miss her. We have worked together for well over ten years, so we have shared a lot of tears and laughter, birth of her babies, deaths and serious illness in both of our families; all which knitted a very close and special friendship. I know that we will always remain friends, but when friends no longer share day-to-day life it does change things. I had started out my week kind of pouting about this situation, but had to choose to thank God for the gift of a dear friend and realize that the potential for our friendship to grow in other unique ways is a very real possibility. Oh, it may take more effort because of the logistical change of not sharing work days together, but good and meaningful relationships are worth that effort.
And, then there is this morning….oh, I so could have a good old “pout-fest”! I have tendonitis in my elbow and today it is rainy, so the old elbow is really sore. And, then, there is my sore foot – the foot that I opened a door onto yesterday when entering a business that jammed up my big toe and put a nice gouge into my freshly painted toe nail. Yes, I’ll admit – I’m whining, but hey, this is my blog! ha, ha!!
So, as I was reading my devotions this morning I got to thinking about this “pout or praise” thing….really?…..I’m thinking, God couldn’t I just have a few minutes here of pouting….but He gently reminded me to look down at the prayer list in front of me…..ok, thanks God for the “smack of reality”! I mean really – a sore foot and elbow kind of pales in comparison to….well, let’s see, my best friend who lives every day with a level of pain that no one really understands because she just doesn’t complain about her condition of arthritis and lives her life to the fullest…..or, how about my friend who is battling cancer and doesn’t have a very good prognosis…..or, how about the family who grieves the loss of a loved one…..or, how about the young father who is a volunteer firefighter who lost both legs in a tragic firefighting accident…..or, how about the family who is preparing for the death of the father who is in his early 40’s due to cancer….and, I could go on and on and on…..
Wow! Some people really have a lot of pain and tragedy to face. I had an interesting conversation with a friend this week whose husband lost his job and they are faced with moving out-of-state very quickly. Obviously she and her family are very distraught and in shock, but as we talked she was sharing how I could pray for her and we discussed our wonder at how folks without faith face pain and tragedy. We decided that it must be much more horrific to not have a God to take our cares and burdens to, and to know that without a shadow of a doubt He is in control. He WILL comfort us. He WILL give us strength. He WILL guide us and lead us. And, all we need to do is TRUST!
Isn’t it just amazing that we have a God who loves us sooooo much that He takes care of us? That He knows how many hairs are on our head and that He is in control of all the little details of our lives. Wow! I think I will go about my day now just praising and leave my pouting behind. And, you know what? I’m thinking my day will probably be a whole lot more rewarding. How about you? Are you pouting or praising today?
Have a blessed day! 🙂