HAVE WE THANKED GOD TODAY? Have we acquired the serenity to accept it as it was, and hope for tomorrow? Why will an army volunteer faint when the needle of a shot begins to pinprick him? Perspective. Why will a child who wants discipline and punishment abolished, when he becomes a parent, decide they are essential. Perspective. And why do some love God and others hate Him? Perspective. A popular complaint made to me over the years is all this evil in the world, which for some shows God either evil, or not really God. I usually just listen, unless the complainer is asking a question about evil, and not just pontificating an arrogant complaint. I say arrogant, because often the complainer has his life in total disarray, sin and confusion, to the point it’s obvious they could not do a better job than God, yet here they are passing judgment on the particular world God chose for us. To listen to people, quite a few think they could do better than the Creator, “I don’t approve of the way He made it and runs it.” (to paraphrase them). O.K. part of that is that He gave each complainer freedom of opinion, just like He gave them a nose, and they smell. Frankly, some things are best accepted with serenity, and God’s actions are in that category. The Word says, “…consider the goodness and severity of God…” RM 11:22. We can choose to accept that there are purposes to evil’s presence. And while we accept His choice to place us here in the middle of it, the answer to this test is not to accept evil or participate in it, rather, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” O.K. the test’s choices: a. God, goodness, and overcoming evil…or b. reject God, side with evil, and indulge in sin. This sin in turn destroys our freedom. And here is when we discover one of the reasons for what we call evil (suffering & pain)…they are consequences of sin…and signals and roadblocks to stop us from going down destructive paths. Misuse alcohol, there is a hangover. Persist in that misuse…cirrhosis of the liver. I’m sure you can come up with better examples. Heavenly Father, we are thankful for today, the beauty that was there, the colors around us, the preciousness of our life, for the love and friendships, for the sun that came, and the stars that followed. Thank you for today. Amen.