A couple of days ago, my devotional read: “I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, scriptures. There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you.” I read these words as I was enjoying a few days at my version of Heaven on Earth: a beach front room. Not only was I in my favorite place in the world, but I was there with some of my very favorite people in the world. The words in my devotional came alive since they called me to be what I need to be more like: intentionally thankful.
Allowing my eyes to wander from the balcony of our room to the immensity of the Pacific Ocean in front of me I reminded myself of the need to be intentionally thankful for every single thing, person, moment, experience the Lord has planned for my life…and not just the good ones. The key is to be intentionally thankful for everything…in every circumstance, obeying God’s command to:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Even in the not so pleasant days…even in the not so smooth rides…even in the not so happy situations, always rejoice.
Even in the scary times…even in the times of loss…even when we feel lost, always rejoice.
Even when the earth quakes…even when the wind destroys…even when the fire burns…even when the waves engulf, always rejoice.
Practicing the discipline of being intentionally thankful for everything that comes our way will open the path to freedom from anxious thoughts and from the slavery of pessimism and panic.
The few days I spent with my family at the beach were a marvelous respite from the craziness and stress of this life. We laughed, ate, took naps, talked, and tried to enjoy every minute of it. But most of all, it was a chance for me to practice making sure I praised God for the opportunity rather than lamenting how fleeting the days were. May the Lord help us to become intentionally thankful as we walk the days of our lives, rejoicing always, and being grateful in every situation as He has commanded us to do.