Start Your List Right Now
I have officially started this post fourteen times. Fourteen times I have tried to put into words the many people I’m grateful for, the things I’m grateful for, the God I’m grateful for, the experiences I’m grateful for, EVERYTHING I’m grateful for. But I’ve stopped and started because the list is an example of the popular Toy Story phrase, “To infinity and beyond.”
Instead of my list of things ranging from hugs to rain to puppy breath to diet coke and chocolate (that one is mentioned often, thank you God for chocolate) to little boy cuddles to laughing with friends to pain. Yes, pain (I’ll get to that in a bit). I want you to open your notes app on your phone or pull out a real piece of paper and a pen. I want you to start writing down what you’re thankful for at this exact moment. I want you to keep that note with you; write down the big things, the little things, the things you take for granted, the moments where God is so fully present you feel you should shield your eyes, the fun things, and even the hard things. The hard things are important because they are shaping you into who Christ wants you to be.
It’s hard to be grateful during the hard things. But there’s so much hope and promise in the hard things. Peter tells us that glory is just around the corner:
“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” 1 Peter 4:13 The Message
During our son’s recent surgery there were many pain-filled moments for all of us. More for him than us, but as parents we feel a different kind of pain. In the middle of some of the worst pain we reminded him that this is a short chapter in the greater story God is writing of his life. We constantly told him that joy will come in the morning through his easier mobility. We pointed out countless acts of kindness towards our family (THANK YOU), we expressed our praise to God for doctors with the wisdom to help him, we shared about the times we saw God in action through so many. We made a choice, because life is all about choices, to have an attitude of gratitude.
Start your list right now. I’m starting one, my first post is being able to write down some thoughts for others to read; thoughts that hopefully reflect the One my soul longs for.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18