I must confess that I have avoided blogging for quite a long time and even took my posts offline for several months. Every thought or inspiration I have had for a blog post has devolved into my believing that there are others who have written more profound things on these topics, and what could I possibly have to say to add to the discussion? It has been discouraging and writing has been a chore with thoughts of having nothing substantial to say hovering just beneath the surface. Yet, every time I am just about to close down the blog and move on to my next interest, a friend or family member asks about my blog and when I might post again. So for all of you who inspire me to continue, this one’s for you.
The all consuming topic that is dominating the news and life right now is the Coronavirus (I am suddenly Captain Obvious is saying this, right?). And it’s easy to keep the news on all day and focus on social media about the next press conference and public closings. It’s not too difficult to get swept up in worst case scenarios, and, for me, I want to stop the constant awareness of dire news and predictions, and I want to adopt an attitude of balancing reason with gratitude.
While I am concerned about the days, weeks, and months ahead, I’m not going to catastrophize. I will do all that is within my power to be healthy with hand washing and avoiding crowds, and I will continue to pray for the safety and health of my family and friends. But in the process – I am going to be grateful.Praying for the intentions of others is something I take to heart and I’ve even gone so far as to keep a journal of the intentions I pray for so that if I forget one I can pray for “…all the intentions in my prayer journal – You know what they are, Lord.”
And it struck me this week that as much as I want to lift up others and their needs in prayer, I can and should also be thanking God for all His answers to my prayers. Just like the ten lepers in the Gospels who were healed, only one goes back to Jesus to thank Him. Starting today I want to be more like that one of the ten, remembering Who it is that answers my prayers, comforts my heart, provides for my needs, and gives me strength.I am by no means a Pollyanna, but there is a lot to be thankful for right now in my life, and I bet if you sat down and reflected on this yourself you would be amazed at the list of blessings you could write. I am grateful for my faith, my family, my health, my home, my life, my friends… I want my gratitude list to be as least as long as my prayer intention list. This has not been the case in the past, but I am resolved to make that change in the future. I truly want to appreciate my blessings more, and even to thank God for my crosses which provide me with opportunities to grow in faith. The times ahead are uncertain, but God never changes. He is here and I have the time. God is not outdone in generosity, and remembering to say “thank you” is a lesson from my childhood that cannot and must not be forgotten. Today, I am resolved to go through all my past prayer intentions and in the margin beside them I will jot a prayer of thanksgiving for all the ways the Lord has generously answered or is answering my intentions. I will let gratitude cover my mind and heart like a blanket of loving consolation in these difficult circumstances. And I’ll start by thanking God for you, dear friend, for reading this blog and perhaps making room for some more gratitude in your day. May God bless you.