“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.“
Ephesians 5:20 (NIV)
It’s easy to get wrapped up with the mentality of “I don’t have enough,” “I should be further along than this,” or “my life sucks”. Living a consumerist society has left us feeling that we have to “up our game,” get the next new gadget, or have everything figured out….as if somehow that would give us worth or merit. We’re never quite satisfied; it’s part of the human condition.
You get to choose how you see the world around you. The power lies in YOUR perspective. How you view your circumstances is directly with the way you choose to see things around you. And how you respond to your circumstances makes all the difference.
Earlier this year I had to have surgery for a minor complication: gallstones. Little did I know that this minor complication would turn into more of a life alteration. I had to stop working out, change my diet, and eventually end my work contract early after uprooting my life and moving to a completely different state for the job. Did I mention that I did not have family or friends up there? It was hard. I had endless nights of pain, of “whys” and “how come?”. I did not understand how God, a good God, could allow such a marvelous opportunity as living in the mountains of Colorado come to an ending. I had not yet fulfilled the timeframe I believed I was supposed to serve.
Have you ever cried out to God and gotten complete silence in return? That’s how I felt through the whole process of Colorado. It was a God-ordained movement and I KNEW that’s where He was calling me next to serve in my life. But I could not understand it was meant for a short season in my life instead of a more permanent situation.
The toughest thing about recovering from the surgery and moving back to life in Texas? I healed slower than most, and I had to continue treatment for another five months post-operation. I was constantly reminded of not being good enough and felt that I was a failure, or that others were better off than me. Laying in bed post-surgery with so much pain, I realized it would be a long journey of healing for me. My core muscles had become nonexistent at this point. I had to be in strict bed rest for six weeks. I had taken advantage of the little things I could do before, like a simple sit-up. HOW MUCH I WOULD HAVE GIVEN TO BE ABLE TO DO ONE SIT-UP IN MAY! You being able to walk up the stairs and not get winded? Appreciate that. Can you get up and serve yourself a cup of water? If so, you are gifted more than you know. If you can walk down the food aisle without pain, YOU ARE PRIVILEGED. Consider yourself blessed, because up until July, I wasn't able to do any of these.
I had to shift gears in my mindset. I had to focus on what I COULD DO and not on what I COULDN’T DO. It’s easy to lose hope in the midst of pain. Be grateful for where you are. Meditate on the “I CAN” in your life and not on the “I CANNOT.” It all lies in your perspective; what you focus on is what you will see, and God will give you the “I CAN” for the things He calls you to do.
Every morning when you get up, make this a ritual:
1. Think GOOD thoughts
2. Think GOD thoughts
3. Think GRATEFUL thoughts
It lies in your ATTITUDE. So add gratitude, and it will make all the difference.
What am I grateful for today?
Ask yourself this today, What good am I going to make out of this experience?
Every day, make a habit to list three things you are grateful for. Include things you would normally take for granted like a roof over your head, running water, potable water, hot water, electricity, and television with hundreds of channels.
Check out the application “Shine.” The daily check-ins help you practice gratitude and will help keep you grounded.
Lord, thank You for giving me another day of life. Help me to be grateful for the small things in my life right now and the day-to-day things I take for granted. I’m thankful for Your Son and for Him dying on the cross for my sins. I pray Lord that You instill a spirit of gratitude within me, that I may shine of Your splendor in my daily walk. Amen.
Shine Application Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shine-daily-self-care/id1293721589?mt=8