Don’t Trust the Clock on the Dash

After seeing all the Facebook reminders to set your clock back  last night, I thought this would be appropriate to post on the first day of Daylight Savings time.

I was running late for work one day last week so I jumped into my car and sped off to work. That morning I was so preoccupied with being late that I couldn’t enjoy the beauty of the drive through the wooded area of Ferndale on my trek to downtown; at least not until I glanced at the clock on the dash. The clock read 7:20. I wasn’t running late after all. The tension in my neck and arms immediately began to lessen and I noticed the beautiful trees. I felt myself breathing calmly and began to enjoy the drive. I was reassured by that clock that told me I wasn’t late. It didn’t take me long, however, to begin questioning that time. At least 20 minutes before, the clock in my house read 7:45 which was what made me realize I was late in the first place. I knew I had to go to the authority; a trusted source. Yep, you got it- my cell phone. My cell phone is updated by an internet server that gets the time from an atomic clock. No matter where I am, my phone always has the correct time. Who needs a watch these days? To me, my cell phone is the ultimate authority on time. I didn’t have to worry about setting my watch or my alarm back for Daylight Savings time last night. My trusted cell phone did it for me.

The rest of the drive to work, I thought about this situation. My car was serviced the day before and the clock must have gotten changed in the process. For a moment, I accepted that as truth. It was a false truth, however, that gave me a false assurance that I would arrive to work on time.

It got me thinking. The world gives us false truths and false assurances daily. They may make us feel better for a short time. They may give us a sense of peace and security for a while but they won’t withstand many of the harsh circumstances we face in life.

There is only one real source of truth that gives lasting assurance. In John 17, Jesus prays for his disciples. He asks his Father to sanctify them by the truth. He says, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). God’s Word, the Bible, is the Truth! It’s packed full of truth that gives us just what we need to have peace and security through any circumstance. If I’m struggling with something and don’t know what to do, I can always find the answer in his Word and through prayer. He never fails to answer when I ask. Also, in John, Jesus tells us he’s the Truth. He says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6). I have access to the ultimate truth, 24 hours a day. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I have a trusty source that not only gives me what I need to get through my day, but what I need to get through this life and a promise that this life here on earth is not all there is and not where it ends for those who believe.

I’ve made the mistake too many times in putting my trust in the false truths of the world or made decisions based on my own truths. That led me down a bunch of wrong roads and caused a lot of tears and heartaches. Sounds like a bad country song, doesn’t it? It’s so true though.

When my son died, I have to tell you I didn’t reach for a book on meditation, or one of those self-help books.  I didn’t reach for my psychology textbook or my philosophy textbook. I didn’t google how to handle it. I didn’t reach down inside myself. No, I reached out for the one who held me up the past 10 years; the only one that has given me true sustainable, peace, joy, courage and assurance. I reached out for my Lord-The Truth. As always, He was there. He’s still there. He will always be there!

One of my favorite verses tells me he will always be there.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid nor dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

That’s a truth that I can attest to. That’s a truth that you can “take to the bank”, as they say. Even if I lose my iPhone and I have no idea where I am or what time it is, my God is with me. That’s a truth that gives me real assurance.

Thank you, Lord for being the ultimate authority and truth. Thank you for using a silly clock error to remind me that you are the Truth and through you I have ultimate assurance and security no matter my circumstances. Thank you for always being there to hear my cry. Help me to recognize and weed out the false truths that lead me away from you.

Where Was God?

During or following a loss or tragedy, people often question God…. where was He when…. if there was a God, why would….. WHERE WAS GOD?

This morning, our pastor told a story of great loss. He went on to say at times like this it’s easy to ask, “where was God in all of that”. I stopped hearing for a few minutes after that (sorry Pastor). I started thinking back to my own recent tragedy. My thought was, awe, man God was all over it- right in the middle of it.

God is right in the middle of our tragedies ready to comfort us and hold us up. The Bible says, God is near to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18). Indeed He is.

Where was God when my son was suffering from addiction? Where was God when I lay watching the machine breathe for him? Where was God when he took his last breath.

Can I share where I saw God?

God was there listening to my prayers night after night as I poured my heart out to Him in desperation over my son’s struggles.He was there putting my broken heart back together every time he would have a setback or relapse.

God was there with His angels surrounding my son during his first and second overdoses. Holding him in His hands. Giving him another day to fight and another day to get to know His Heavenly Father.

God was there calling to my son, showing Himself to my son in treatment; loving Him with His true and perfect love. God was there in his salvation.

God was there with me strengthening and growing my faith; Teaching me to trust in Him and not my own plans; Giving me a desire to serve; Giving me peace and joy.

God was there working in the hearts of Parker and his family and all who knew him.

God was there when Parker overdosed that last time, keeping Him here long enough for me to say goodbye.

God was there as I prayed over my son in that hospital bed and as I sang songs of praise to Him.

God was there comforting me and setting me upon a rock as I watched my son take his last breath.

God was there with outstretched arms the moment he took his last breath.

God was there giving life to someone else through Parker’s death.

God was there giving me the words to say at his funeral so that others may hear of His goodness and find comfort in a time of great sorrow. God was there holding me up and giving me an unexplainable peace and joy that still blows my mind.

God was there in the impact Parker had on others through his death; using it for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28-29)

God is here with me this Christmas giving me a heart of thanksgiving and praise as I look at that empty chair; reminding me of His promises and that this life on earth is not all there is for those that believe in Him and follow Him.

Yes, God is right there in the middle of our greatest struggles just waiting on us to turn our eyes toward Him.

God is here for you and me this Christmas ❤️

The Last Heartbeat

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On August 29th, I sat at my son’s bedside and looked at his sweet face remembering the child he once was; imagining his laughter and smile that would fill and light up the room. I remembered the big hugs he gave. I watched as the machine moved his chest up and down rhythmically and sweet, lulling me back to the memories of the days when he would run through the house with excitement over just about anything. I remembered the time, just a month earlier, when he was drug free and we spent the day together hiking and he said with so much joy, “I’m on top of the world, Momma”. I remembered the loving way he looked at me. I remembered the young man who would drop anything to help someone; the young man who held the door open for his mother; who sat at the bedside of his friend in the hospital when others turned their backs; who carried his friend up fifteen stairs to take a shower because he couldn’t walk; who encouraged others and lifted their spirits on a bad day; the son who called me to ask me to pray with him for a friend who didn’t know Christ. I remembered the tender, loving heart underneath that big laugh. I remembered the son who hated to see me cry and hated more when he was the reason I cried. So, I held back the tears, and I thanked God for this beautiful child. I thanked God for this beautiful hand that I held.

I held my son’s hand that night for the last time. I watched as his heartbeat grew weaker and weaker. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the hard part. No, the hard part was the last four years watching a disease consume my child; watching a drug turn my son into a machine that functioned only to replace the drug that was keeping it running; watching him so desperately try to fight it on his own; try to save his family the pain it caused; watching him die inside over the shame- the shame people heaped on him.

As I watched the last heartbeat, I let go of the pain that he suffered. I let go of the pain that I had suffered watching the drug take over my son’s life. I let go of the pain of watching him cry over an illness that he couldn’t control. I let go of the memories of watching him desperately fight a battle that he didn’t yet have the tools to win.  I let go of a child that never knew his worth. Yet I mourned. I mourned silently deep inside for the time he would no longer have to find a way to keep fighting to live; the time that was taken away from that one lethal dose. That one lethal dose that his addiction made him need more than anything else at that moment.

As I watched his heartbeat slowly fade, I let go of the pain and thanked God for the gift of the twenty short years I had with him. I thanked God for the gift of life that my son, through organ donation, was giving to others, as his last gesture of love, with the passing of that last heartbeat.

With that last heartbeat, I vowed to be the voice that he wanted to be; to be the voice he could no longer be; the voice that would carry his story on, as part of this fight….this fight to end the stigma……this fight to end the “opidemic”.

Parker Alan Gill

You are missed. You are loved.

Your life had a purpose.

God is using your story.

The drugs did not win!

You are free. You are home.

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God loves me at my worst….

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There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more; there’s nothing you can do to make God love you less.  I remember the first time I heard this. I said, “Yes”! That is the God I know. That is what the Bible tells me. I don’t have to try to be different so God will love me. He just loves me. The Bible doesn’t say, “For God so loved the world (Paula) when you act right; when you forgive quickly; when you keep that mouth of yours shut; when you obey all my commandments all the time. The Bible says He loves me. Period. After I heard that, I started thinking. I think God wants us to just let go of the pressure of trying to please Him; to spend less time worrying about not being able to earn His love and spend more time just simply loving Him back and getting to know Him better. Whew!! I’m going to tell ya straight,  getting to know Him better by reading His Word and by talking to Him in prayer is a LIFE changer!! That’s time spent I have never regretted!

“For God so loved the world” (that’s you and me). Isn’t that beautiful! At my worst, He loves me. At my best, I fail Him. Yet He loves me the same. Thank you Lord!

“Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”. Man that gets me so excited!! I can live this life with confidence knowing this- this life here- is not all there is. All the pain and the sorrow; all the evil and hate in the world; it’s all fleeting. By believing in Jesus and following Him, we escape death! We escape this world!

Believe! Say YES to God, today! But don’t stop there. Go tell someone. Pick up His Word. Get to know Him! Oh what a difference it makes!

Father, thank you for loving me enough to send your Son to die on the cross to save me from my sins and from myself! Thank you for loving me even when I fail you. When, I take my eyes off of you daily and put my wants and needs before you and others, you still love me. Help me to do that less and less and to turn to you more and more! I pray those that don’t know you, might say “Yes” to you today!  

Father to the fatherless

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Father’s Day is one of those holidays that can create a sadness in the hearts of some. For those that have lost their father, never knew their father, don’t have a close relationship with their father or for those fathers that have lost their children, today can be a day that brings up all sorts of emotions that we don’t typically associate with the word “holiday”.

Scrolling through Facebook today I saw many posts of children honoring their fathers. I saw happy pictures of lunches where the family gathered around to show the love for their father. I also saw posts of sadness because the wonderful father who was loved and respected is missed because he is no longer on this earth. There were many pictures that held fond memories of the man who raised and walked with them through life. But I know some who are bitter, sad or angry today because they weren’t ready to let their father go or because the memories of their father aren’t fond, loving ones. There’s the son or daughter right now watching their father battle a terminal illness. There’s the father in tears today because he lost his son tragically to an illness, accident, suicide or addiction. There’s the adopted child who wonders why his natural father didn’t care enough to be a part of his life.

Then…….

There’s the Hope. There’s the truth.

In scripture……

He is a “father to the fatherless” (Psalms 68:5)

Wait, father to the fatherless? Is that not beautiful? No need to mourn? No need to be sad or bitter or angry? No….. In Psalm 68, David says, “sing to God, sing praises to His name”….. He is a “father to the fatherless”. Years and years and years later, we can find comfort and sing praise because David’s words are still true! Yes, God is a father to those that don’t have fathers today. God is my father. I can celebrate and not mourn. I can sing praise and not grumble!!

More hope. More truth.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1)

“Oh Lord, you are our Father” (Isaiah 64:8)

“One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4:6)

Oh, what hope, what peace, what comfort those words can bring to all those that mourn on this Father’s Day.

God, our Heavenly Father (Matt 23:9), our Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6) is a father to the fatherless.

Today, I rejoice and don’t cry for my father who’s not here with me to enjoy a nice Father’s Day lunch.  My father was taken way too young, in my selfish opinion. He never got to meet my son and he never got to meet my grandson. But today, I don’t mourn. Today, I thank my Heavenly Father for the years I did have with him. I thank God for wonderful, sweet memories. I don’t mourn the fact that I’m not having the typical “Hallmark movie” type of Father’s Day today with a table full of family. Today, I thank God for calling me His child. I thank God for His promises and His truth that he gives me through His Word.

I pray that others who have had a less than Hallmark movie or Hallmark card kind of Father’s Day can find peace in knowing they too have an Everlasting Father in Heaven that loves them today.

Father, I turn to you today thanking you for the comfort I receive from Your Word and Your presence. I thank you for claiming me as your child. You are a good, good Father. You are a loving, merciful, gracious Father. Thank you for loving me and forgiving me. Thank you for reminding me that I am not fatherless!! May others find peace in knowing they have a good and perfect Father in you as well. For those that don’t know You as their Heavenly Father, I pray they might cry out to you today and find comfort. I pray that you might call to them and take them by the hand Father.

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!

Here’s a few memories of the wonderful man I was blessed to call my Dad-

Jimmy Lee Buford

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A Simple Prayer

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Yesterday at the Inspire Women’s Conference I got the pleasure of hearing several women share the story of how God changed their lives. The common thing I heard in all of their stories mirrored what I myself knew was the turning point in my life: a simple prayer. You see, all of these women mentioned a simple prayer, a cry for help, an “I can’t do this so you’re going to have to Lord” prayer. A simple request of: Lord help me; Lord change me; Father show me; Father here’s my life.

These prayers were nothing grand. There was no big show involved. They were all just simple, passionate, heartfelt, desperate pleas cried out alone to the mighty, sovereign God of the universe.

It is in these quiet moments of surrender, when we admit we can’t but God can, when we admit we need God, that He can and will begin a mighty work in us.

There is power in that simple prayer. Jesus tells us in scripture that whatever we ask for in prayer, if we just believe we have received it, we will (Mark 11:24).

Jesus used a fig tree to make this point. One day, while walking with his disciples, Jesus was hungry. They came upon a fig tree that was fruitless. Imagine the disappointment. Big Sigh!! I felt that this morning after church. With a growling hungry belly, I realized my favorite after church lunch place was closed. Grrr…my growling hungry belly would have to wait a little longer to be fed. Well, guess what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t just walk to the next fig tree. No, he cursed that tree. He said, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again (Mark 11:14). Jesus closed that tree down for business. The disciples heard Him but didn’t think much of it. I’m guessing they thought it was just an idle threat because, later we see when they came upon the tree again, Peter “remembered” and commented saying, “Look Rabbi! That fig tree you cursed is withered” (Mark 11:21). Jesus then tells the disciples and us:

“Have faith in God”: I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea’, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for- believe that you have received them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:22-24).

In Psalms, David tells us when we cry out to the Lord, He hears us. Not only does He hear us but He will deliver us (Psalm 34:4; 17).

God hears us when we cry out to Him. Every time!

Those mountains we face, can be moved, can be conquered, if we just ask and believe.

What are you struggling with today? What is your mountain?

Is God asking you to obey and you just don’t know how? All it takes is a simple prayer of, “Lord, I want to obey you but I don’t know how. Help me. I can’t do this on my own”.

Is God asking you to serve outside of your comfort zone? “Lord, I hear what you are asking me to do and I want to be faithful but I just don’t see how I can do this. You’re going to have to make it happen because I just can’t do this on my own.”

Do you know you need to make a change in your life but you just don’t see it happening? Yet again, a simple prayer is all that is needed. “Lord, I know I need to stop _________ but I’ve tried and I just can’t. I need you because I can’t do this on my own.”

Maybe, you’ve never prayed that first simple prayer of salvation to turn your life over to Him. If you are feeling that tug on your heart, all it takes is a simple prayer. You can pray that prayer today. Let me know and I’ll be there to pray with you.

When faced with a looming mountain in front of you, you have a choice. You can navigate around it (avoid it). You can stay where you are or go a different route (taking you off course). You can turn around and run (give up). Or, you can pray and trust God to help you bust right through that mountain victorious!!

Whatever mountain you’re facing, a simple prayer is all that is needed to get to the other side.

A simple prayer of surrender and belief is all it takes. How do I know that? Well, Jesus told me that in His Word and then He showed me!

 

I have learned…..

 

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I have learned…….

Three little words packed with so much hope.

Why?

Paul wrote those words (Phil 4:11-12). Paul learned.

Paul wrote numerous books in the Bible. He didn’t just write a blog or an article or a book that was once on the bestseller list. No, he wrote God-breathed books in the Bible. And he tells us in Philippians that “he learned”.

Paul learned….

If he learned to be content that gives me hope. He learned to be content and so can I.

What was Paul’s secret?

I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.(Phil 4:11-13)

It was through the strength he received from Jesus that he was able to learn to be content in any circumstance. He wrote these words as a thank you to the Philippians for their generous gift to him while he was imprisoned. Although, he was thankful, he stresses his self-sufficiency in Christ. Paul was content because of his relationship with Christ. That’s all he needed. He says, “I have learned” not “I am”. When I read that I just get so excited. That tells me, he didn’t always know this truth. He didn’t always have this mind set. That tells me that all these things I struggle with, can be overcome. Pulling from the strength I too have through Christ, I can learn.

Before Paul’ s conversion he was a scary dude. He persecuted Christians. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Yet, Paul became a mighty warrior of Christ following his conversion. Paul focused on what he was supposed to do and not what he had or his circumstances.

Regardless of our circumstances, like Paul, if we keep our focus on what God wants us to do, we too can learn to be content. We can learn to have a self-sufficiency in Christ. We can learn that as long as we have a relationship with Christ, nothing can shake us. We can learn contentment, we can learn to have peace, we can learn not to fret and worry. We can relax and give ourselves a break knowing that we don’t have to know it all now. We don’t have to have it all figured out overnight. But, if we try to see life through the lens of God, empowered by His strength, we too can do anything.  We can learn to accept our circumstances and handle anything that comes our way. Yes, anything!

I have learned…….

Three little words packed with so much hope.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the hope found in Your Word. Help me Lord to see life from your point of view. I pray that you will help me to learn to be content in whatever circumstance I find myself. Help me to pull from the strength available to me through Your Son. Help me to come to you first when I find myself unable to handle a situation or find myself feeling ungrateful or wishing my circumstances were different. Help me today father to accept my circumstances with thanksgiving.

God Gave Me Coffee

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I don’t like coffee. I’ve tried many times to make myself like it. The smell draws me in. I think I can do it this time. And then no, I just can’t do it. Just the sound of the name Caramel Macchiato makes me drool. But nonetheless, I don’t like the taste. I think it would be cool to be a coffee drinker. But I’m a Diet Coke kinda girl.  If the waitress brings me coffee, I’m sending it back.

How often do we tell God we don’t want what he gave us? How often do we tell Him He got our order wrong?

Jesus gives us the perfect example of how we should respond to situations when God gives us something we didn’t order. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew what he was about to face on the cross. He prayed for his father to take his suffering away. But then he says, “nevertheless, not My will but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). He accepted his Father’s will which was always his focus.

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Well, wouldn’t you know it, God gave me coffee the other day and I wanted to send it back. I was faced with a particularly difficult and somewhat frightening circumstance. Metaphorically speaking, I wanted to send that coffee back. I wanted to take that cup and throw it across the room. I wanted to pour out my portion and smash the cup. Then I remembered Jesus’ example. I was reminded that God had given me this particular circumstance. I had a choice to make. I could pour it out and resist. I could run in fear. Or, I could take that cup thankfully and ask that He give me guidance, wisdom and grace to handle the circumstance. I could thank Him for the coffee and drink it. I did just that and received a blessing in return. God gave me exactly what I needed to handle that particular circumstance and my faith grew in the process.

Are you dealing with something today that makes you feel like God got your order wrong? Do you ever want to just smash your cup or throw it across the room?

We all have a choice. We can refuse our portion and rebel or we can surrender our lives to God and accept our portion in faith.

Heavenly Father, thank you for difficult circumstances that help me grow and become ever more close to and dependent on You. Forgive me when I refuse my portion ungratefully. Help me to accept my portion knowing that Your Word says that ALL things, even the bad things are meant for my good; to help me become more like Christ (Romans 8:28-29). I ask that you give me the guidance and wisdom and grace to handle my portion even when it’s something I didn’t order.

COPING IS OVERRATED

Can we talk about coping? For years I searched for ways to cope with life. I read quite a few books searching for the magic one that would help me cope. There’s lots of them out there promising the magic recipe on how to cope with just about anything: death, stress, anxiety, pregnancy, divorce, bullying, eating disorders, diverticulitis. You name it, there’s a book on how to cope with it.  My favorite would have to be “How to Cope When You Are Surrounded by Idiots”. That made me laugh. I may have to read that one just for fun.

But seriously…….I think coping is overrated. Coping means resigning yourself to something and dealing with it or managing it effectively. Can I just tell you the good news? God doesn’t say trust me I’ll help you deal with it; I’ll help you manage that fear. No no no!!! Our God is bigger than that. In fact, I’ve never read the word “cope” in the Bible; not even once. No, God’s Word says things like “conquer”, “deliver” and overcome”.

 “The righteous cry out and the Lord DELIVERS them from ALL of their troubles”. (Psalms 34:17)

To “deliver” means to save, rescue or set free from. He doesn’t just help us deal with our troubles, He sets us free from them- ALL of them. I don’t know about you but I’m all about that!!

Jesus tells us that He has overcome the world! (John 16:33) I love that statement, “I have overcome the world”. God, through the sacrifice of His son, OVERCAME the world. He conquered, beat, defeated this world. All of the evil in this world has already been defeated. God is not about just coping. He’s a God who conquers, delivers and overcomes.

We need only to look to our Father in Heaven in times of struggle. He is our source of help. He is there for us at all times. (Ps 121) Yes, there are many books that can help us cope with our problems but only the Bible can lead us to the one who can deliver us from them- the One who has already conquered them.

So today I surrender my struggles and say “No” to coping and “Yes” to “Overcoming” and “Deliverance”.

Heavenly Father, my pain is real. Life is hard. My fear is real. Life is scary. Lord, help me to overcome the pain and fear of the world and get up and do what you would have me do today; learn what you would have me to learn. Remind me of your constant presence and your promises to deliver me from my struggles. Give me strength when I am weak. Help me smile when I am down. Remind me to look above to you and to your word for my source of help.

If you are struggling with something today, I hope you will say this prayer or one like it. I pray that you will ask the One who overcame the world to help you overcome your struggles.

I’ve listed a few more scriptures of how God tells us in His Word that He will do more than just help you manage your struggles. See if you can find more.

“I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears” Ps 34:4

“Because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith” 1 John 5:4

“And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him” Ps 37:40

Gratitude doesn’t leave room for disappointment

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I’m not sure what made me wake up thinking about disappointment, dread and fear. But that’s what was on my mind this morning. I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot and started a “gratitude journal”. Every day, I write down things for which I’m grateful. A few days ago when it was snowing, I wrote down that I was thankful for heat. The snow changed some plans I had but I thanked God for the beauty of the snow out on my deck. Two nights ago after I hit a deer and killed both the deer and my car I was thankful for God’s protection. I was thankful for air bags and my neighbor who stopped to comfort me and go tell my husband and finally for my husband who came and helped me. Today, I’m thankful for car insurance that pays for a rental car to get me to and from work and anywhere else I need to go. I’m thankful for that little green Kia Soul I’m driving that makes me laugh every time I think about those hamsters in the commercials. Oh, the thanks goes on and on. My little gratitude journal is filling up.

Hmmm….. It seems gratitude doesn’t leave much room for disappointment, dread or fear. I’m reminded of a scripture, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. 1 Thes 5:16-18. It’s not just a helpful tip to get me through rough times, it’s His will for my life. Well no wonder it works!!

Now, I’ll admit, hitting the deer wasn’t a terribly dreadful circumstance compared to some I’ve experienced. But the principle is still the same regardless the circumstance.

Gratitude doesn’t leave much room for disappointment, dread or fear.

So often we struggle to make life what we want it to be. To obtain all that we desire.

We have a picture in our mind of what our life should be. We have a picture of what will make us happy. We may even have an idea of what we deserve.

We struggle and fret to obtain those things or circumstances that complete that picture in our mind of how our life should be. When that perfect picture is blurred or ripped to shreds we are left with anxiety, fear, anger or disappointment.

What if we just relaxed in acceptance that what is happening right now was God’s will and trusted that it was all for good? How peaceful would it be to just relax in God’s promises. To breathe in God’s promises and exhale our trust. What if we closed our eyes and just simply said God I will trust your plan.

What if we went even further and thanked God for our circumstances? If we could see our circumstances as a gift from God then we could experience joy in the midst of our circumstances no matter how bad they may seem.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thes 5:16-18.

If you’re struggling with this today, consider asking God to help you see the life He wants for you; to be thankful for the life you have been given.

Let’s surrender this day together.

Lord, I am going to relax in your promises. I accept what you give me today with gratitude. I accept and give thanks for my life just as it is today. Help me to see you have a bigger picture that I cannot begin to grasp right now. Help me to seek you in all that I do. Help me to see your work in everything that comes my way whether I see it to be good or bad. Help me to take this one day and live it to the fullest not focusing on the past or future. Although I don’t know Your will, help me to seek it and relax; trusting in your promises.

What are you thankful for today?