Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Let us be grateful

Let me see clearly so that I may take in the amazing things coming from Your law. (Psalm 119:18 VOICE)

What is it you are not seeing that clearly right now? Is there some question you have been wrestling with for some time unable to quite reach some form of resolution or solution? Is the time you spend pondering the stuff of everyday life kind of getting harder and harder when you expected it might just let up a little? If so, you are not alone in this inability to see clearly at times - we all suffer from the same "lack of clarity", but may not always admit to it because we don't actually realize we haven't reached a point of "clarity" yet.

I think one of the greatest things which unlocks clarity in my own life is when I reach a place of gratitude in whatever are I am struggling or wrestling with at that moment. That may seem a little naive at first, but hear me out. When I transition from questioning into trusting, it usually happens when I begin to settle into being grateful for whatever it is I am facing or dealing with regardless of how tough, unfair, or monumental it may seem. I think Melody Beattie penned it beautifully when she wrote: "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."  

It doesn't take much of a rudder to turn a huge ship, my friends. Sometimes the smallest amount of gratitude in our hearts and minds ends up bringing the deepest sense of trusting, the exact amount of hope we need, and the most insightful direction we could ever receive! We may not be removed from the tough place, but we somehow manage to see it differently. I don't know how all that works because I am not God, but I have seen him do this in my own life time and time again - simply because I turn from complaint about the issue, stop struggling to produce the answer myself, and begin to just thank him for holding me right there in the midst of it until he reveals the way out.

We don't uncover truth - it comes to us because we have opened our hearts and minds to receive it. One of the keys to unlocking our minds is to change from using the key of "questioning" to using the key of "thanking". When my marriage was falling apart many years ago, I had lots of questions, hurts, anxieties, and frustrations. The one thing that settled my heart and mind, guiding me through that tumultuous time was being grateful for what I had received and learned during those years of being together. I don't always embrace the lessons the first time I am going through them, but as I see things unwinding or getting a little chaotic in my life, I can choose to see things from a different perspective, not because I become "enlightened", but because I choose to be thankful.

We are in a season dedicated to being grateful for the many wonderful things God has placed in our lives. I challenge each of us to think upon the things we are not the most grateful for today - those tough things we are facing. As we think of those things, could we just for a moment ask God to help us change our focus from one of wrestling or struggling with those things to just being grateful for them? We don't know what awaits us around the other side of those things, but trust me on this one - when we change to a position of gratitude, we may just see possibility where we only saw challenge, hope were we only imagined the worst, and delight where we had been experiencing all manner of frustration. Just sayin!