Listen to this devotional:
Exodus 8:31 – And the Lord did what Moses asked: The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. (NIV)
In the evenings before sunset, I love walking up the road with my dog, breathing in the fresh, spring air. I relish the scent of the blooming flowers and the peaceful tranquility of a nearby pond. My dog also loves the scents of this area, but the ones which interest her are not the ones which interest me! While I walk with my head craning upon my neck to see which bird is singing in which tree, her nose is to the ground deciphering which dog has passed this way recently.
But we have one thing in common. Neither of us is fussy about biting midges. These prolific flying insects come out every evening to pester my poor dog to distraction. Neither of us appreciates their attempt to make a meal of us. I swat and my dog snaps. Sometimes she stops dead in her tracks to scratch vigorously. I pull my long sleeves down and my collar up. She walks faster, pulling me behind her. We welcome the relief of our cozy home where the midges cannot enter nor bother us.
I must confess that there are times when I wish that I could just say a prayer like Moses did and God would drive away the midges. But that is a selfish thought. After all, some of the songbirds I love so much need those midges to feed their young. So instead, I remember the words of Paul:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
I must admit, I am not truly thankful for midges. But they serve to remind me that even the annoyances of life can be given to God — sometimes through clenched teeth! As a friend of mine used to say, "We can praise the Lord, anyhow!" So, when I encounter the midges, I walk faster, thanking God that I can walk, for the companionship of my dog, and for an evening that is so lovely — midges and all.
Prayer: Loving God, You call us to thankfulness. You call us to joy. You call us to experience Your blessings. Thank You that You call us through Christ Jesus to Your will for us: thankful lives. Grant us the grace of a grateful heart, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.