This past month has been excruciatingly long.
In these desperate and dangerous times, where quilted paper is being traded on the black web in loo of bitcoin, we’re separated from family and friends with nothing more than video chats to connect us, and bombarded on every side with news stories of doom and gloom, it’s hard to keep our spirits up and our tails from sagging.
Not to downplay the seriousness of the situation we are living in, but with spring now in the air, I hope we can (sometimes) think about other things besides sickness and germs and hand washing while hand wringing and lamenting about the inadequacy of politicians to save us from bad things or keep our pockets full of money and our pots full of chickens (or vegetables, if you don’t eat meat).
I know it’s easy to say, God is in control, while we are strong and well and living above the fray. But when it all hits the fan and everyone is in the same boat, so to speak, the words have to come from someplace deeper than mere sentiment.
Faith is the great divide between joy and despair. You can’t have hope and peace without faith in Christ. He alone is our strength and shield. He alone can uphold us in our sorrow, sickness, separation, and loneliness.
Some people are fond of saying: God doesn’t give us more than we can bear. But many people are suffering right now with much more than they can bear. Without God to bear our burdens, we all crumble and fall beneath the weight. He often gives us more than we can bear… ALONE. But we don’t have to bear it alone. When we trust Christ with our lives, he sends his comforting Spirit to dwell within us. The very Spirit of God communes with our spirit and makes possible the impossible. Joy even in the midst of sorrow. Peace in turbulent, uncertain times. Hope that transcends human understanding.
I believe that joy and peace and hope all start with gratitude.
Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins. Christ rose again that we might have the hope of eternal life. Knowing we are redeemed from the grave and destined for a heavenly home, we can truly be thankful.
When you begin to thank God for all the blessings he has poured out on your life, you find that worry and stress turn to peace, joy edges out those negative thoughts and frustrations, and fear of the unknown is replaced with the hope of eternity.
I have to admit, I’m not always thankful. I tend to take things for granted. Like toilet paper and Kleenex. Ham and potatoes. Just four things I couldn’t find at the store last time I looked. But since when did God say, as long as you have enough paper to wipe your arse, rejoice in me. No. The Bible says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”
Gratitude opens up our hearts to rejoice. What are you thankful for today?
I’ll begin. I’m thankful for the beautiful sunny spring days we’ve been having lately. I’m thankful for God’s continued work in my heart to draw me closer to Him. I’m thankful for a husband who works hard and remembers to wash his hands thoroughly before hugging me when he comes home. I’m thankful for the prayers of friends and family. I’m thankful for a warm house, comfy bed, plenty of food, and the ability to write. I’m thankful for a pastor who continues to preach and teach online, working to shepherd at a distance. I’m thankful for Christ, my risen Savior! My hope. My rock. My light. My salvation!
Please leave a comment and share what you are thankful for this Easter season. Thanks for stopping by!
ps. Entangled is free at all online stores this month! Haven’t read it? Pick up your copy today.