“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV).
Can I be real with you? I was a “Pout-Pout Fish” a couple of weeks ago. If you have kids or grandkids, like me, you may know the book, “The Pout-Pout Fish” written by Deborah Diesen. The Pout-Pout Fish swims with a permanent pout on his face. His smile is upside down and “he spreads his, dreary-wearies all over the place”. He is a gloomy kind of fish that doesn’t see the gifts of the ocean life. You could say he doesn’t display an attitude of gratitude.
If you read the “About Me” section of this site, you know that my “happy place” is the beach. It is the place I love to vacation. Just thinking about the beach soothes my soul. I meet God there...most of the time.
A couple of weeks ago, Danny and I ventured to a new beach location. I was excited preparing for our vacation. In my mind’s eye, I imagined the tasty treats I would eat: crab cakes, french fries, ice cream and pies. Oh, the walks on the beach and witnessing the early morning sunrise stretching it’s colors of the rainbow across the summer sky. It was also a time that Danny and I could spend some quality time to catch up and slow down just a bit. What I was most excited about was to feel, see and hear the whispers of God. I couldn’t wait to soak in God’s revelations for me during the week at the shore.
I am sad to say that my expectations of the new beach location were washed away in waves of disappointment. You see, what I expected was an all week affair with the Lord, soaking up His rays of Son-shine. What I got was a school of people on top of each other, just like sardines in a can. As far as you could see there were people, people, and more people. I became mad and frustrated. My smile was turned upside down. I started spreading the “dreary wearies” all over the place. I became a “Pout-Pout Fish”. I allowed the riptides of life to pull me down into ungratefulness and grumpiness! I threw away my attitude of gratitude.
I am reading through the book of Numbers. Oh boy, the complaints and ungratefulness of God’s chosen people in this book. After everything God had done for them, including rescuing them from slavery, they continually expressed their ungratefulness. Can you relate to the people of Israel? Sadly, I understand the emotions of ungratefulness too well.
How can we turn our frown upside down? Look and lean into the word of God. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV). Rejoice. Give thanks. Pray continually. Search and ask God for the attitude of gratitude. God is gracious. He really is. He could have allowed me to wallow in the sea of sadness and silliness, which I deserved. Instead, He allowed me to celebrate His magnificent masterpiece.
God continues to pour His goodness over us…even on those days we are a “Pout-Pout Fish”.
Diesen, Deberah. The Pout-Pout Fish. Douglas & McIntyre Ltd. 2008.