Looking Beyond the Craziness Around Us (Being Grateful Part 2)
This year, 2020, supposedly the start of a promising new decade really had us all blindsided. Who knew all that would happen as we rang in the new year with so much optimism and promise, who knew that so many of the things we had never given a second thought to would be the things we would miss the most?
No one would have judged anyone else if all they had wanted to do was eat cake and lie on the sofa. Navigating this year was not easy and it is still not easy. Here we are, halfway through and it feels as if we are in a game of tug-o'-war with so many contradictions, uncertainties, problems in society on one side while on the other side there is the attempt for some sort of normalcy whatever that may look like now, both tugging and pulling against each other jostling to make some sense out of it all.
So, what are we to do?
We can keep looking around us and watch the craziness as it tries to wrap us in its embrace or we can look outside it all to the One who is always stable and unchanging.
I choose to look beyond it all.
Does this mean I am unaffected by all the craziness? No, not in the least bit. My husband and I are definitely affected by all of this in so many areas of our lives. We live with a lot of uncertainty, we plan and prep only to see things get changed around by the decisions of others beyond our control.
Since we cannot do much about it, we do the best we can in learning how to navigate this to come out as the head and not the tail, to stay afloat and not sink, all the while keeping our eyes, mind, and heart focused and centered on He who is able to do all things.
One of the things we do to navigate through this crazy is choosing to be grateful.
How you ask. How can you choose to be grateful at a time like this?
This is what I would say in reply, choosing to be grateful is a discipline and one that does not come easily or immediately. It is a choice, and a decision I have to choose to make every day of my life. I don't always make the cut to be in the Grateful Team but as I get older, there are reminders I remind myself of that have helped me make the decision to be grateful.
Those reminders are:
- I remind myself that if it were not for what Jesus did on the cross for me, I would truly be without hope and on a one-way highway to hell.
- Yes, it is always about what Jesus did and no, it never gets old or cliched.
- I am only where I am only because of the mercy and grace of God. It is not something I take lightly nor do I think God owes me because I go to church or tithe.
- I owe God everything. He owes me nothing.
- I am not a permanent citizen of earth, I am a citizen of Heaven and I will eventually get home one day so all that happens on earth is temporary.
- God is good always and the least I can do is give Him thanks.
- He loves me so much.
If I have Jesus, I have everything so the saying goes.
Well, it is true. If we have Jesus, we have everything because through Jesus we have our connection to God restored, and that is everything; not money, not fame, not even family because one day, all of these will be taken from us, including family or us from them, but if we have God, nothing can separate us from Him. And if our families know Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, we will all be reunited even after death.
It may seem cheesy to say all this, but it is not.
The world is tough, and of course, the enemy is not going to make it easy, but with Jesus strengthening us, we can do all things, including choose to give thanks and to keep our hearts and minds focused on who He is so we can keep taking steps forward.
Being grateful to God is a discipline, not something that comes naturally to us, so we have to choose to exercise it if we want to make it a part of our life routine. We will not always want to do it, but that is not the point. The point is that we choose to be grateful despite how we feel and when we keep doing it, eventually, it becomes second nature to have eyes that will see all that the Lord has done and to give Him thanks for everything.
And we can then even give Him thanks for the bad things that happen because there is a purpose behind them that we still do not yet know but because we trust the Lord, we can surrender it to Him and thank Him for it all the same.
So, instead of letting 2020 be the year of weird and crazy things, let's make it the year we choose to give thanks to the Lord no matter what!