Each day is a gift.
We know this, right? But how often do we have to remind ourselves when we’re exhausted, weary, feeling beaten, or stressed?
Some days are tougher than others, and some days reach the “toughest” category. Can we be thankful even in the middle of those days?
Switching to Gratitude
I’ve often experienced the effects of switching my mindset to one of gratitude for that day, that moment.
I might feel frustrated with my lack of sleep or overloaded with “to-dos” and “want-to-dos.” My shoulders hunch with the burden of frustration with myself, my stomach churns nervously, and my heart quickens at the mere thought of failing my children or my husband or, worse, my God.
In these moments, when I shift to a focus on gratitude, the response is drastic.
My shoulders soften, my stomach eases, and my heart calms.
Gratitude changes my psychological and physiological responses. The effect is measurable. (As Ann Voskamp has said on her blog, research and science only support scriptural truth.) Being thankful for today in turn keeps me in the current moment and better able to see the joy He has placed right in front of me.
Even in the middle of my son’s hospital stays, I can find something to be thankful for each day.
What’s In A Day
What if you’re experiencing terrifying circumstances or depressed thoughts or general weariness? How can you see gratitude in those moments?
No matter what today brings, I try to remember:
- God is here (Psalm 118:7) and active (Psalm 118:15-16).
- God created today (Genesis 1:3-5).
- God protects and is trustworthy (Psalm 118:8).
- God saves (Psalm 118:21).
- God loves—forever! Look back at how Psalm 118 begins:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”
His love endures forever.
Stop and Praise
When I’m feeling foul, sometimes I need to go through the physical act of thankfulness to pull me out of a deepening pit. As soon as I realize I’m about to bark about a disturbance, if I pause and speak two or three things I thank God for out loud, I begin to feel those relieving effects.
Gratitude inspires praise. Praise focuses beyond me.
“The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.” (Psalm 118:24)
And what else were we made for than to see Him, receive Him, praise Him, and share His love?
How are you thankful for today? Let’s encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13) in the comments!