YOU DON'T ALWAYS MAKE IT TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN
Many things went wrong for me on that trip. Some of them I was responsible for, but hydrating your body when you're sick with a stomach bug is next to impossible. Without proper hydration your body won't adapt to the change in altitude. There were other things that went wrong during that trip, but they're not worth mentioning or complaining about. I've got way too much to be grateful about. The altitude did affect my body, but I don't have to let failure affect my attitude of gratitude.
My failed attempt to reach the top of Kilimanjaro has helped me scale the mountain of gratitude. I've left the valley of complaining in the dust far below. Those smiling children in the picture above are a big part of my change in my life-habits. They lived in an orphanage called the Far and Wide Children's Home in Malawi.
Each child has a different story of why they live in an orphanage. I won't give you all the reasons, but just imagine all the atrocities you've heard about in Africa and you'll know the reasons. Sometimes they share the reasons, but they didn't complain - they were in a better place. These youngsters were smiling because I paid attention to them. To make them smile, all I had to do was hold my camera up high and take a picture. I showed them the pictures and that made them happy.
These children had a lot to complain about if they wanted to. Maybe they did sometimes, but I never heard any complaints in the week I was there. These kids were grateful for what we gave them and the time we spent with them. We noticed the lady who cooked for us was eating our meager leftovers. We began to leave more leftovers.
Every morning the kids would gather around a large pile of corn. Their job was to take the de-kernel the corn. I sat down to help them and had blisters on my hands after about 40 minutes. It was tedious and hard work, but never did they complain. They were grateful to have help.
Someday I hope to go back and finish reaching the top of Kilimanjaro. Even if that never happens, I won't complain. I'm doing my best to turn my failures and complaints into thoughts of gratitude. God can use all things to make us better people.
DAY 21 WORD
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives
is continually woven together
to fit into God’s perfect plan of
bringing good into our lives,
for we are his lovers who have been called
to fulfill his designed purpose.
Romans 8:28 TPT
“If you do this, then you will be true sons of your Father in heaven.
Your Father causes the sun to rise on good people and on bad people.
Your Father sends rain to those who do good and to those who do wrong.”
Matthew 5:45 ICB
“Fig trees may not grow figs.
There may be no grapes on the vines.
There may be no olives growing on the trees.
There may be no food growing in the fields.
There may be no sheep in the pens.
There may be no cattle in the barns.
But I will still be glad in the Lord.
I will rejoice in God my Savior.”
Habakkuk 3:17-18 ICB
DAY 21 PRAYER
Thank You God for giving us so much to be grateful about. Over the history of our lives, You've given us overwhelming joy. Each one of us has received Your breath and a heart that beats. Thank You for making us in Your image and likeness. Make our hearts beat with gratitude as soon as a complaint begins to form on our lips. Help us overcome failure by the power of gratitude in all You've done and continue to do.
In Jesus name.
DAY 21 DEEP THOUGHTS
Since there is no greater advice on complaining than the encouragement of God's Word, I'll let Him do the talking.
- Since each of you are part of God’s family never complain or grumble about each other so that judgment will not come on you, for the true Judge is near and very ready to appear! James 5:19 TPT
- When you talk, do not say harmful things. But say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will help those who listen to you. Ephesians 4:29 ICB
- Let joy be your continual feast.
And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks,
for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18