Lately I've found myself thinking negatively a lot. Tense muscles constantly. Restless sleep frequently. A gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I realized something.
I have ceased to express gratitude.
When was the last time I wrote down what I was thankful for?
It's been a while.
Without thankfulness life is harder. It's more difficult to forgive. Bearing others' burdens becomes wearisome. Keeping my focus on Jesus starts to be challenging.
Lord, lead me back to having a grateful heart!
Remember how I claimed Psalm 34 when we were in Africa? Revisiting that Psalm tonight took my breath away.
The answer is there. Right there in black and white.
"I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth."-v. 1
I have failed to praise Him lately. Instead I have questioned Him.
"My soul makes it's boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad."- v.2
Am I boasting in God lately? Or have I wallowed in self-pity and anger?
"Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together." -v.3
Won't you praise Him with me?
"I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." -v.4
Every time I have said in my heart, "I just can NOT do this one more day", God has sent some one to encourage me. He does hear me. But I have to acknowledge Him.
This week is going to be filled with singing this praise song to help me remember. Do you know it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE-4DsUf_Uo&feature=related (song starts at 1:08)
The words are:
"Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son.
And now let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
Today I am thankful for: Friends Rob and Sheri, who have gone over and above what friendship normally looks like; hugs from 5 children; a donated basketball hoop from David and Natalie; and watching our chickens peck the dirt (observing farm animals is therapeutic- try it sometime).