November is here and in just over three weeks Thanksgiving will be upon us (for those in the USA). Thanksgiving is, in my opinion, one of the few remaining holidays with a Biblical focus. While it’s true that we could choose to get caught up in the feast mentality or even the early shopping deals, I am really going to make a conscientious effort to notice the good things that God has provided.
I will begin by telling you that I haven’t always found this to be an easy thing to do. About five years ago, I received news that rocked my once stable world. Do you recall falling off your bike as a child and hitting the ground so hard that your breath was knocked out of you? Remember how one moment you were riding along free as the breeze and then suddenly you were on the ground, gasping for air, and wondering what happened? That’s exactly how I felt. It happened so unexpectedly that I was caught completely off guard. The only difference was that after falling in childhood, I was able to breathe again normally after a minute or so. This time, I waited for that suffocating feeling to subside. Any moment now…but I continued to struggle to get back to normal. Each night I would go to bed in tears, sometimes stifling the sobs so that no one would hear. I would pray that when I awoke the next morning everything would be back to normal again. However, the next day would come and the pain would still be there. One time I even woke up on my knees in my living room. Apparently I had walked in my sleep and had gone into my prayer position automatically because of all the times I had spent pleading with God to restore the beautiful times I barely remembered.
After awhile, I found that I felt resentful of all the people around me with seemingly happy lives. Why was everyone else’s world so perfect while mine was so miserable? That’s when the thought occurred to me (and I take no credit for it because I was pretty content to wallow in my misery) – my life was filled with blessings! I just chose to be consumed with the bad instead of the good. Without knowing until later that a book had been written on doing this very thing, I pulled out an empty journal and resolved to fill up a page with the blessings God had bestowed upon me. I would list the wild flowers I saw on the side of the road, a night of better sleep, or a friendly chat with someone at the grocery store. I started to take notice that many things were going “right”, even in spite of the the one thing that was still going “wrong”. I knew that I had no control over this one issue, but I did have control over how I responded to it and whether I would let it overshadow everything else that I should be thankful for.
How about you? Are you focusing on the rain so much that you are missing the rainbow? Could you benefit from keeping a Blessings Book? Is your life really so dismal that you couldn’t find ONE thing to praise God for today? I think you will find, like I did, that if you just step back a little and shift your gaze upward, your pen will flow and you’ll fill up a page before you know it.
And now for the FREE gift: leave a comment about one thing you are thankful for today (I realize it will be hard to limit it to one). I will draw a name at random from those who leave comments and will send the winner the Promises &Blessings Journal pictured at the start of this blog post. I will announce the name of the winner on my next posting (Tuesday, November 8, 2016). Note: This giveaway will be limited to those living within the continental United States, although I would love to hear blessings from those in other areas of the world!
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Praising God for the good things in life,
Romans 8:31 – What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?