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)
Give thanks in all circumstances. In other words, be thankful in everything!
Each day of our life is made up of moments, and how we choose to look at those moments is a direct reflection of the joy in our life.
I have moments when life just isn't showing up how I would like. It is in those moments that I really don’t feel like giving thanks. I am assuming you have felt that way too?
I have learned that whatever I may be struggling with, how I choose to look at the moments ultimately determines how I live my life and how I can be thankful in those moments.
One way to change my perspective when things aren’t going well is to remember that my life is precious. It is a gift from God. Living in gratitude and ultimately surrendering my struggles to God is the foundation to creating moments of joy.
So instead of focusing on what is going wrong, I have learned to focus on what is going right. I may be struggling with my job, but that job has provided a roof over my head and the ability to provide for my family. I may be struggling with my health, but as long as I am still here on earth, I have a purpose to fulfill. I may have lost a family member, but I was blessed to have them in my life for the time I did. I may be frustrated with the line at the grocery store, but I am blessed to have food to put on the table.
People respond to me based on the attitude and perspective I bring to this life. The attitude and perspective that I bring to each new day will create the experience of my moments and ultimately the moments of those I come in contact with.
When I surrender my moments to the one who has the ultimate plan for my life, it will be easier to be thankful in everything, not just the special moments.
I love this quote from Betty Smith: “Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory."
Often times I take the little, ordinary miracles that happen in life for granted. And there are so many little, ordinary miracles. The fact that my heart beats and my lungs take in air without me even thinking about it. The sun comes up and sets without me doing anything to make that happen.
Isn’t it funny that when a baby suddenly finds their hand and is mesmerized by its motion, we all sit and are mesmerized by it as well? Or their giggle over an inanimate object becomes so contagious, we suddenly notice the object again for the first time too?
The ordinary in our lives gets overlooked because it seems to have always been there and we take for granted that it always will be...until we look again with new eyes and see the miracle in the ordinary all around us.
It is as I have gotten older and have been through my own health and life issues that my vision has changed, my perspective has changed. I want to be consciously aware and not take the simple moments for granted.
I want to remember to not just give thanks for the extraordinary moments in my life, the times when I am overwhelmed by grace; but I want to be grateful for the ordinary. The basics. The mundane that we assume will always be present. I want to remember to look with eyes that see the ordinary as miracles, so my life can be filled with glory.
I want to STOP. I want to FEEL and SMELL and ACKNOWLEDGE the gifts that God puts in my life every single day. When He makes the sun rise from its slumber and it beats down on my skin. I want to look up in the dark of night and see and feel the magnitude of the heavens. I want to be fully awake to the blessings in my life and not miss a moment.
I encourage you to do the same. Choose to savor your moments. Thank our God for the gift of it all. It will give you a new perspective, and you will see and feel the blessings of each moment God provides.
With love and joy,