This was written almost a year ago, but in many ways, it is something that needs to be visited often to be sure that we are doing just this...
As a means to press through this “economic downturn”, most of us are praying, crossing our fingers, strategizing and holding our breath until it passes over. Even as I have been praying, I feel like I have been holding my breath, waiting for life to get back to normal. But what happens to us when we hold our breath? We die…and that is exactly what I have been like…the walking dead. Oh, I have been doing all of the essential stuff, but in this coma like existence that I was never really present in anything that was going on…I just kept waiting. It may take 6 months or 3 years for life as we know it to get back on track…do I really want to miss out on that time?
2 Corinthians 4:8 & 9 says:
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Recently, our church has been challenged to increase our prayer time. There are so many needs. People are hurting everywhere. Even the “experts” are saying they are not sure how to fix things. It would seem that the only place to turn is up. Even as I pray, I find myself whining and griping about the things I want God to fix…Do you ever get tired of hearing yourself say the same thing over and over again? Couple these thoughts with a few sermons about “Praising God through the Circumstances” and I began to have a paradigm shift. I began to notice that there were many mini-miracles that went on daily and I didn’t take the time to thank God (to my shame). One of the things that sadden me is when my children seem totally unsatisfied with something that my husband and I have done for them. God must feel that way when He swoops down to perform some awesome act in our lives only for us to have the attitude of, “Oh, that’s nice but really, I wanted you to…” I asked God to open my eyes to every little thing that He does for me, give me that child-like wonder and amazement so that nothing is taken for granted. Let me be fully aware, present and engaged in the great and mighty thing He has going on today.
The Message says in 2 Corinthians 4:13-18:
13 -15We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!
16 -18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.
This has encouraged and inspired my spirit. I believe it so I am saying it…Whether it be great or small, I am going to walk with a spirit of gratitude. If all I have left is a little meal and bit of oil, I will give it to God, because I know He will work a miracle!
Would you join me on this journey where praise and thanksgiving pave the way to joy and contentment in Christ?