Grace Challenge, Day 15
Here is a repost from December 1, 2007…
Have you ever had one of those days? Where you skipped breakfast, didn’t eat lunch till 2 and finally stopped for dinner at 10pm? Where you ran from thing to thing, didn’t get anything done, had all sorts of interruptions, and then the water heater stops working, then your wife calls and tells you she was robbed at Costco. Well, here is how you can praise God and rejoice even in the midst of your worst day.
I have been using this phrase lately, with myself and with others I have been interacting with: “I have forgotten more good things that God has blessed me with than I deserve.”
I had dinner with some old friends a few weeks back and we reminisced about days gone by. It brought back so many good memories that I had truly forgotten, abandoned to the deep crevices in my brain, banished by the onslaught of my pessimism and negative attitude. For most humans, our default mindset is on the failures, shortcomings, disasters, hurts, regrets of our life. It takes initiative and purpose to remember the good, the successes and the joys of life, all of us have forgotten a wealth of happiness and blessing.
Why do we have to think about smiling?
Why is it that if happiness is not directly connected to some current experience that we are having, we have to “choose” to be happy?
As Christians, we have substantive foundation for our positive outlook on life. The Bible even commands us to be positive in the direst of circumstances. Our foundation for positive thinking is the sovereignty and fatherhood of God. He is in control and he loves his children. Plain and simple.
So, here is how I found room to praise God on one of “those days.”
I was busy…I have a job, a family, a home (they demand my time). That is a good thing.
I ate…I never go hungry, the only variable in my eating is my schedule.
I have a water heater to fix…or replace. In Russia my parents showered with a pot of boiled hot water and a cup…like I did, once.
In the midst of the day there were also endless supply of joys…friends called my phone, friends helped with my project, a big check is on its way to my mailbox, the sunset that night was indescribable…very simply, counteract your default mindset with active thanksgiving and gratitude for all the good things during the day. When you are overwhelmed by circumstance, actively look for something good, and praise God for it. Make lists of memories that can serve you at low times. In the OT they were big on memorial stones, memorial piles of stones (they called them altars). Build yourself a memorial at the entrance to your home, to remind you every time you park your car that God has blessed you with a mansion, good relationships and …electricity.
Kelly’s wallet was stolen during “that” day…here is what Matthew Henry said when he was robbed:
“I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (James 1:2)