Over the last decade, my body has proven to be snitch for all the wonderful things that come along with family, ministry, and age. One tell tell sign is an eye twitch that vibrates under pressure filled moments. Yes, it’s quite obnoxious and yes, I’ve also learned to appreciate the fact that the twitch is telling me to slow down in that moment (insert eye roll because who has time to slow down). Not too long ago, after an intense week of life, I was exhausted and not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. My husband often reminds me that we are in a marathon not a sprint, so doing things with the end in mind will often cause us to slllloooooowww doooowwwwn and take on an eternal perspective. This inward hustle propels me forward into life, creativity and work and frankly any illustration that has to do with long periods of running frustrates me, so many times I thank him for his reminder and carry on with my task list and teams of people. Then again my body is there reminding me that he’s right (yet again!) and that the hustle will always be there. With my husband’s wisdom, I’ve come to yearn for the quiet and slowed down periods because it forces me to reexamine and cross examine all that I have been given and how good my Heavenly Father has been to me.
Whatever stress has brought me, which usually is never good, is always confronted by gratitude. From there it dies and withers on the vine. Gratitude, when embraced with largeness and aggression will always suppress the things that ail me…ALWAYS! That person who disappointed me? I’m now counting the many ways they’ve blessed me and stretched my faith to rely on God, not man/woman. That situation that overwhelms me? I’m now declaring out loud how grateful I am for God’s truth and promises. That physical challenge or setback? I’m now writing down how many times God has proven His healing faithfulness in my life and others.
When gratitude abounds, what I have becomes enough and God becomes
the “God of more than enough.”
You see, gratitude is the cure for what ails us, our communities, churches, culture, and global landscape. It keeps us humble, positive, encouraging, lively, engaged, and ultimately unstoppable. Gratitude shifts the landscape of our hearts and minds while the storms of life rage against us. It’s the loud voice in a hopeless and hustling world that is never fully satisfied. It’s the fuel that ignites relationships and builds unity amongst individuals. It keeps marriages intact, churches acknowledging they are on the same team, and life sweet when we’ve been dealt a bitter hand. Gratitude changes everything, but first it softens our hard heart.
PSALM 107:1 – “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
My friends, what ails you in this holiday season? Acknowledge it, embrace it and then ask the Holy Spirit to reveal THE good things that will come about because of it. If there is ONLY one thing you can find, you’ve found the lifeline of gratitude from where hope can breath once again. You are loved by a good good God that will never ever leave or fail you.
With all my heart (and twitching eye),