"The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!"
-Henry Ward Beecher-
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on instagram that I had come across a verse that has humbled and encouraged me on this journey. It was Psalm 26:3: "For I always have been mindful of your unfailing love § have lived in reliance on your faithfulness." I have read this verse once a month for the past two years and yet this time it stopped be dead in my tracks. I was stopped short and forced to ponder... Am I really always mindful of God's unfailing love? If I was wouldn't I be viewing some things in my life that I am going through in a different way?
Yes, I would.
And this has gotten me thinking about the topic of gratitude in a completely different way then I ever have before. For me I have always viewed the listing of things we are thankful for as a very nice "gesture" during this time of the year. In our homes and on various social media sites people list things, items, and loved ones that they are thankful for.
But this year I have been challenged deep in my soul to go beyond writing lists on social media to writing lists etched deep in my heart of the Lord's goodness and mercy to me each and every day. Psalm 26:3 has shouted deep to my heart about being always mindful of God's love- not just for a season but for each and every day.
And in God I am finding gratitude. Not for a thing, item, or person. But for Him.
Not just when people "like" my status or when people think my picture on instagram is beautiful - but each and every day - keeping my mind always mindful on what God is doing in my life. Sometimes those things are so intensely private that there are no words that could do them justice. Sometimes the Lord whispers to our broken hearts such loving and tender words from scripture that is impossible to explain the depth. Sometimes the action of a friend is an answer to prayer that could never be shared on social media.
And sometimes realizing anew that no matter what else is happening circumstantially in our lives at the end of the day saying "it is well with my soul" is the deepest gratitude we can express.
I have heard countless people say that they are sad to see summer go (myself included here!) but at the same time I am learning that gratitude excepts from God the present and looks towards the future with hope because we are always mindful of His love. Perhaps that is why the woman described in Proverbs 31 could "laugh at the days to come". Her strength (and her dignity) were found in the One who has given us life. What deeper gratitude could there be then to show ultimate trust by laughing at the days to come?
Life is hard. These past eight years have been filled with difficult circumstance after difficult circumstance in my life. Somethings I have shared - like a fiance' who walked out months before our wedding to illness to shattered dreams to loss and to sickness and pain so great there are days that I have wondered if I will be able to take another breath. And somethings are to personal to share on this site. This summer brought its own challenges and heartaches. Life does.Things happen that seem so insurmountable that we think we will never recover or heal and it often seems like there is tragedy at every corner and heartbreak instead of laughter is what our future holds.
But sweet friends, I am hear to tell you (as I write this bedridden) life begins with God. And so does gratitude. There may not be anything that you can think of to thank Him for or to find good right now in your brokenness and that is ok friends. BUT I promise as you keep yourself "always mindful" of His love He will show Himself to you more and more and the healing will take place.
“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
-C. S. Lewis-
This quote by C.S. Lewis has encouraged me to meditate and to live in the truth of Psalm 26:3."For I always have been mindful of your unfailing love § have lived in reliance on your faithfulness." As I live mindful of God's unfailing love I am overwhelmed each day by the blessings that the Lord has surrounded me with. My eyes go off of my circumstances and onto His love. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the joy that is found by being mindful of God's love and find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the hundreds of blessings He gives me each day.
Hold on to His truth friends and be always mindful of His unfailing love and I promise that you will find gratitude.
Every single day.