Be glad you can do the things you should be doing. Do all things without arguing and talking about how you wish you did not have to do them. In that way, you can prove yourselves to be without blame. You are God’s children and no one can talk against you, even in a sin-loving and sin-sick world. You are to shine as lights among the sinful people of this world. Philippians 2:14-15 NLV
Last weekend, I bought a half bushel of Roma tomatoes to make and can spaghetti sauce. I haven’t canned sauce for a while so I had forgotten what a big job it is. About halfway through the process of blanching and skinning the tomatoes, I realized I was grumbling to myself about all the extra work I had taken on. I didn’t have to buy those extra tomatoes or make sauce – after all, I still had lots of tomatoes in my garden which would ripen over time. I could freeze them and make sauce later when it was cold outside.
The more I complained to myself, the harder the job seemed to become. My back started to hurt between my shoulder blades and I felt really tired. But then I decided to put on some praise and worship music so I didn’t have to listen to myself complain.
As the music seeped into my soul, the job became easier and the tight muscles in my back relaxed a bit. No – not because the job had become easier, but because I had a change of attitude. I remembered why I wanted to make all that sauce; how good it would be to have a taste of summer in the dead of winter and to have some to share with my children who had families and jobs that prevented them from canning.
After I got all the tomatoes in my big roaster to cook, I remembered I needed to run some errands. On the way home, I ended up at a roadside farm stand where I bought another half bushel of Roma tomatoes to make more sauce.
No, I’m not a glutton for punishment. I know the amount of work that lies ahead. But because I can already see, smell and taste the goodness, I’m motivated for the work ahead. This time I’ll start the process with praise and make the big job a lot easier!
Lord, help me to do everything without arguing and complaining. Thank you that a spoonful of praise makes everything easier! Amen.