Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The challenge of gratitude

If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness
and all perfection, he must tell you to
make a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything
that happens to you.

It is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you,
if you thank and praise God for it,
you turn it into a blessing.

If you could work miracles,
therefore, you could not do more for yourself
than by this thankful spirit.

It heals and turns all that it touches into happiness."

~ William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

Oh how I struggle with this… It is so hard for me to let go of the ‘what if’s?” so easy to follow rabbit trails in my mind until I’m exhausted and worn out, so sure that this cannot be a good thing.

Yesterday morning my car broke down and I could not bring it to life again. This car is our only car, in an area where mass transportation is expensive, time consuming and unreliable. I know very well the limits we have financially, how little we have to fix it with. When I look down the roads of what if’s… I only see stress and backwards financial steps. How can I thank God for what feels like a cruel joke?

But our God does not deal in cruel jokes, He is not vindictive, He does not delight in our discomfort. But He does not make the way smooth, for that would be to my detriment. If I wish to follow Him, to go higher up and further in, I must be willing to stumble and climb. If I wish to truly trust Him, then I have to let myself be in positions to make that choice. So, I will praise Him and thank Him, even in this small storm.

Thank you Lord for getting me to work this week.
Thank you Father for the kind man who moved my car out of the way of traffic.
Thank you for the tow truck to take our car where it may be worked on.
Thank you that it broke down before I got on the freeway.
Thank you for sending a brother we can trust to work on the car.
Thank you for dear friends willing to go our of their way to help.
And thank you for whatever you are doing that requires this.

No matter what happens now, no matter if the car is fixed tonight, sometime this week, or not at all. I will trust you, no matter the circumstance.

You are my Redeemer, my Savior, my Prince of Peace and I will be still and wait on You and You alone.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! What a necessary reminder; one that I need often. Just think of the huge smile on God's face when you offer up gratitude and thanksgiving for ALL things, as He commands in His word.

    "And in ALL things give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18