You jolt out of bed at the horrid sound of your alarm signaling that it's time to get up & get your day started. You realize that you feel as if you didn't even sleep but maybe an hour that night. Ugh. Your coffee pot is not working and you already want to scream. As if things couldn't get any worse, your dog won't quit barking and you can't find any clean pants. Someone cuts you off on the highway and your boss is having one of those days... again. The last thing on your heart is gratitude and it's not even lunch time.
If this has ever been you, no worries friend, because I have been there. Recently, I have washed my husband's church shoe (just one) in the washer and somehow always forget to do the dishes, all the while trying to get out the door by 5 am. You're in good company. I promise.
Here's the question: When you find yourself in these moments, how is your heart?
How is your heart?
It's so easy for me to be grateful to God when all is sunshine and butterflies in my little world. But when I am hit with bad news, whether it's a beloved family member getting sick or yet another unpaid bill in the mail, my first response isn't to be grateful. Am I the only one?
After my husband and I got married, we were faced with an unexpected trial that tempted to bring us apart. Now while I'm not ready to share all of those details (maybe one day), we had to choose to press into God or turn away from Him. This personal issue in myself has taken me to a dark place but it is only in Christ alone and trusting in His goodness, that I find hope. I must choose to be grateful for the things I have and not focus on what I do not have.
Gratitude is a choice.
We can either choose to seek God for answers that we don't have and rest in His greatness and be grateful -or- we can sit distant from God only asking Him why He is doing what He is doing, playing the "woe is me" card, choosing bitterness over gratitude. I've played that hand many times and it only brings me to a point of despair and hopelessness. Just recently have I confessed my hopelessness to God in this trial and have chosen to take Him at His perfect word even when it seems like I am falling apart. Without gratitude, even in tough situations, we will never flourish in this life and with Jesus.
It takes time and healing from The Lord to be to the point of gratefulness in trial and pain. But that's where The Lord is calling you and me.
Gratitude is a two-sided coin. We can't only be grateful when things are just peachy. We must choose gratitude in the darkest places. The hopeless places. The places where it seems like all hope is lost.
Because the truth? In Christ alone, there is always hope.
And that's something to be grateful for.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love is eternal."