I hit the reset button every Sunday morning. When I pray and review my sermon notes, I think about the previous week. I think about all the good things, and I am thankful. I also think about the times I sinned, and I am grieved. So, right before I preach, I give it all over to God, asking Him to renew and restore me. That’s one reason I love gathering with God’s people. It’s a way to keep me humble and accountable. The good news is that we don’t have to wait till a Sunday for a reset. We get one every day. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” You can have a fresh start each and every day with God. It’s not an excuse to sin, but rather a motivation to run to God after you sin, asking Him to clean and renew you, recommitting your life to follow Him.
Thank You. Two very short, yet powerful words. It only takes a second to utter, yet it can drastically change someone’s day. How do you feel when someone says, “Thank you?” You feel noticed, loved, and appreciated. How do you feel when someone, especially those you often help, never tell you “Thank You?” You feel neglected and taken advantage of. You cannot make others say “Thank You,” but you can make it a practice of your life. Say “Thank You,” for instance, when:
- Your food is handed to you at the drive thru
- Your waitress brings you a refill
- Your spouse washes the dishes, even though she does it every day
- Your husband mows the yard, even though he might enjoy it
- Your mom cooks you a meal
- Your child does his chores
- Someone from church calls to check on you
- God blesses you with another day to live
When you are thankful, not only does it encourage the other person, it encourages you. Having this attitude of gratitude helps you focus on others, not yourself. Who do you need tell “Thank You?”
Has someone ever hurt you? Not physically, but rather emotionally and mentally? Maybe they say something that hurts you, or they spread gossip about you. Perhaps they send you a message that leads to personal grief and pain. Maybe they pretend you just don’t exist, refuse to forgive you, or accuse you of something you never did. What should you do when someone hurts you? I always recall a saying I read years ago, “Hurt people hurt people.” Perhaps the person harming you is hurt themselves, and they don’t know how to deal with it, so they lash out at you. Another thing to remember is not take it personally. This is difficult, but usually they don’t have a problem with you. They have their own personal problem, or they are upset at someone else, and you become collateral damage. Feel the pain, but don’t dwell on it. Take it to God in prayer. He can carry that burden. Pray for the person. Be kind to them, and let love cover a multitude of sins. Remember, people let us down. No one is perfect, besides all of us are a little rattled right now with the Corona crazies! No matter what someone does, you are deeply loved and accepted by God through Jesus Christ.
Happy Thanksgiving! Don’t worry, it’s not November already. It’s only May. Yet, we are told to give thanks 24/7, even when times are tough. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says, “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It’s hard to be find reasons to give thanks right now, but we are blessed so much, even when the world seems to be falling apart. For me, I am blessed to have a job, security, etc. Yet, some strange things have happened to me during the Corona quarantine:
- A tree fell and hit my storage building, damaging it and part of my back fence
- My bike was stolen out of my carport
- I was having car trouble the other day, thinking it was a brake issues, turns out it was a bad wheel bearing
Yet, in all of these situations, I have reasons to be thankful:
- I am thankful my family was safe and away from the tree when it fell
- I am thankful I was able to repair the building and fence
- I am thankful the police actually recovered my bike. It was a bit roughed up, but I can restore it
- I am thankful the wheel on my car didn’t fall off while I was driving, it could have
- I am thankful a new wheel bearing is coming in today, and I can hopefully repair it and be back on the road
I am sure you have your own Corona crazies! You can find a reason to give thanks. You may have to look hard, but it’s there. God is good even when things seem bad.