Shine as Lights in the World

What do we like to complain about most?

If you live in South Africa, the answer is load shedding. You can complain with everyone and anyone about load shedding and they will happily join in bashing the company who provides electricity to all of South Africa.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with load shedding, it is when the power company turns off your power for a couple hours during the day on a rotating schedule so that the system doesn’t crash. However, even though the company puts out a schedule for when the power outage will happen in your area, they do not follow the schedule that they put out. You never know when your power will go out and for how long it will last. Fortunately, it usually only lasts a couple of hours.

A week ago while I was reading my Bible, I came across Philippians 2:14 ” Do all things without grumbling or complaining” The Holy Spirit brought to my attention that when I speak to people, whether I know them or not, it is easier to complain about load shedding, the weather, the government ect. Yes, those things frustrate me. But instead of always dwelling on them and complaining how hard it makes my life, maybe I should be thankful that I do have electricity most of the time. I should be thankful that I can store a month’s worth of meat in my freezer because I have electricity. I can have a fan running in my kids’ rooms because I have electricity. I have the money to go out for dinner on those rare occasions when we don’t have power and I can’t cook a hot supper. I have a place to charge my phone so I can communicate with people especially my family across the world. I never think to thank God for electricity when it is always on but now that it turns on and off, I am more conscious of the blessing I have.

Instead of complaining, I choose to be thankful and satisfied with what I have. I am also starting to be prepared for when I don’t have it. The power going out in the morning is exciting to the kids now because it means we are taking a walk to the playground with a snack. I now make sure I have a meal on hand that can be made without cooking until we can get a portable gas stove. We have a lantern and candles if the power goes off at night. The power going out is also a blessing because it forces us to be creative and spend time together and with others around us.

Also speaking positively about these kinds of difficulites to others makes you different. You are not joining the crowd in complaining. It is just one of the ways you can ,”be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” which is Phillipains 2:15.

In a time when we celebrate the Light of the World coming to us. Let’s share some of that light. Let’s show people the joy in our lives in spite of troubles because we have Jesus in our lives. One small way to do that for me is not starting a conversation with complaints but with goodness and the blessing in the weather and load shedding.

Merry Christmas from the summer in South Africa. We love you all. I hope you experience the blessing of the season where we celebrate God’s greatest gift to us: Jesus.

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