Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In Other Words: Choosing Gratefulness

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“Non-eucharisteo, ingratitude, was the fall–humanity’s discontent with all that God freely gives. That is what has scraped me raw: ungratefulness.”

Ann Voskamp

As you will have gathered from reading here, the last couple of years have been fraught with struggles, disappointments, changes, challenges, and overall upheaval. Although not all of the changes have been bad, in fact many of them have been quite good, they have still brought with them uncertainty and adjustments. In fact, the only consistency in our lives these past two years have been this:

*When I focus on the circumstances and challenges, those challenges simply get bigger.
*When I focus on God and thank him for his presence in the middle of the changes, I find contentment.

I've chosen the former enough to know that the latter is much better!

Do I choose to be ungrateful that relationships had to be severed in order to follow God's leadership in a certain situation, or instead do I choose to be grateful that he led us to a small group that filled the gap relationally?

Do I choose to be ungrateful for a house lost, or grateful for the provision for the next house (which turned into such a blessing of space and neighbourhood)?

Do I choose to be ungrateful for a job provided because it obligated another move? Do I choose to be grateful for employment in difficult economy?

Believe me when I say that I have chosen, often deliberately and with eyes wide-open, the path of ungratefulness. Each and every time it has not led me to a state of contentment or understanding. Instead, it has landed me thoroughly and completely in the muck of the circumstance. Trying to get myself out of the muck just makes it worse.

Choosing gratitude on the other hand does not increase the muck. It does not necessarily decrease it either. It does not change the circumstances at all. But it changes me. It changes my perspective, my focus, and my expectations. It helps me to remember that God's promises are not to make things easy, to but to make me better through them. And, somehow, that makes all the difference in the world.

Father God, thank you for being with us every step of the way these past years of uncertainty and change. Thank you for the reminders of you when circumstances seemed bleak. Help me to always focus on gratefulness. Give me people in my life who have the courage to tell me when I'm focused on the negative and will help me find the positive. Thank you for not abandoning us to our selfish and ungrateful tendencies. Amen.

Tami is our hostess today! Go, visit, and be encouraged! Blessings on your day.

2 comments:

Tami Boesiger said...

I love the either/or practical examples. And I love YOUR example. Praying for you in this new place and journey. SO good to see your name at IOW again, my friend.

Karen said...

That was really good. I like how you laid out the comparisons to show just what you can be thankful for. Its amazing what we can find to be thankful for if we would just make up our minds that is what we are going to do. It makes the journey much easier because it changes us not necessarily the things we are having to deal with as you said. Thanks for sharing.