...And Be Thankful
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:15
As a church staff, we've been reading through Max Lucado's Anxious for Nothing; Finding calm in a chaotic world - a book published in 2017, but perfect for right now! Honestly, I can't recommend it enough for these turbulent and chaotic times.
The seventh chapter of the book is all about gratitude. Lucado explains, "The good life begins, not when circumstances change, but when our attitude toward them does."
I don't know about you, but I've been sensing this a bit lately. If you look around - throughout the media, both social and otherwise - there are things to be encouraged and hopeful about. People are getting vaccinated, more kids are going back to school, the weather is warming up and… it just seems like there's a ton of good, encouraging news being shared!
And yet, at the same time, I've officiated more funerals in the first 3 months of 2021 than ever before, Covid cases are on the rise throughout the country and violent attacks continue to make front-page news.
So… are things getting better? Or are they getting worse? Or maybe, are things just the way they are… and we're invited to decide what we will focus our energy and attention on?
That's definitely the point of Lucado in this particular chapter.
There are always things around us, obstacles to overcome, deficits to make up, needs to be filled and when they grab our attention, it's so easy to get sucked down a hole of fear, anxiety and even depression.
But there's another option. Each day, we can sift through our circumstances and seek out the blessings, the gifts, the genuinely good things that we have to be thankful for and… well, be thankful.
Later in the chapter, Lucado encourages us with this gem - "what you have in Christ is greater than anything you don't have in life."
Do you believe that? I do.
I'll speak for myself here. In a year (and more) where so much has been lost and so much has been obscured (we "celebrated" our 20th anniversary… and I don't even remember how) - I have so very much to be thankful to God for! Personally, I've been blessed by so much more than I could have possibly imagined. And I'm pretty sure, all of the things that I imagined for myself when I was 5 or 10 or 20 even, would not have given me nearly the amount of joy and peace and comfort that the gifts God has given me have brought.
As we make this final journey toward Easter, I invite you to take some time and reflect on just a few of the things that you are thankful for. Take a moment and offer up a prayer of thanksgiving to God - it just might be the perfect way to find peace and joy today!
Welcoming you to Grow in Jesus,