Sunday, November 19, 2023

"With Thanksgiving" (Phil. 4:6)

The message at church this morning was based on two words in Phil. 4:6. 

"With thanksgiving." There are hardly sweeter words than these. Our blessings were never meant to become our complacency. Our lives should be a continuous reflection of thanksgiving. 

Gratitude has been on my mind lately. It's stunning to me how people I don't even know had such thoughtful, KIND things to say to me this month when I commemorated Becky's passing. Sometimes you have to go through the bad to appreciate the good. Being single has actually made me a stronger person. Often, it's by experiencing and overcoming adversity that we learn to truly appreciate all the good things in our lives. 

What I am thankful for? My family. Everything else is icing on the cake. Friend, find gratitude even when things feel hard. Remind yourself to be grateful and especially NOT to take your frustration out on those around you. It takes a lot of strength and character to find the silver lining in some situations. In his book A Touch of Wonder, Arthur Gordon talks about once having met Margaret Mitchell, the famous author of the classic Civil War novel Gone With the Wind. She said that the writing of that book was going well until she read the manuscript of John's Brown Body by Stephen Vincent Benét. So intimidated was she by the depth and content of that book that she was paralyzed. She said, "John Brown's Body gave me such a terrible case of the humbles that that it was months before I could find the necessary faith in myself." Ultimately, she finished Gone With the Wind. Crazy thing is, today everyone knows Gone With the Wind, but they've never even heard of John Brown's Body

Have faith my friend. Find gratitude even when life gets hard, real hard. Think about what you love about life, right now. Then pause and thank God for that. Stop thinking that life should be a certain way. Do your best to accept the way your life is unfolding for you right now. Start the day with gratitude and end it with affirmations of all the things that went right. Remember: We value what we notice. Try to notice the little things every day. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all you wonderful readers.