“I began going though the apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica again this morning,” Stan said, “and right out of the gate the apostle showed me something I too often fail to remember.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“To thank God for the people He brings into my life,” Stan responded, “and to remember them in my prayers.”
“Too often,” Stan continued, “I fail to appreciate those people God brings into my life. I need to have a better focus on the fact that He brings them into my life for His purpose.”
“As I have mentioned several times,” Stan said, “I am eternally grateful for the neighbors God brought into my life, the ones who were instrumental in my becoming a Christian. I do thank God for them often, but what about the others?”
“Those other people,” he continued, “may play a much smaller role than bringing me to the truth of salvation, but they are in my life to help me mature as a believer. If I don’t recognize that, and if I don’t thank God for that, I will have missed an important aspect of my walk with God.”
“What about the people who are less than pleasant?” I asked. “Or the ones I really do not want to be in my life?”
“Same thing,” Stan replied. “They are there for a purpose. God’s purpose. They may be there to teach me patience, grace, mercy, kindness, love, or a whole host of other things. If I resent their presence, rather than thanking God for them, I will have missed the mark.”
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers. 1 Thessalonians 2.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the people you bring into my life. I confess that too often I fail to appreciate the fact that you bring them for your purpose and I fail to thank you for their presence in my life. Please forgive me. It is easy to be thankful for the people you bring who do exactly as I want, but what about the others, the ones I may find objectionable? Please, Lord, help me to see that you bring them into my life to teach me whatever you have for me to learn. Please lead me in being thankful for them and in remembering them to you in prayer. Lead me and help me to follow. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.