I choose to live a life of gratitude. That is not always easy when life smacks you in the face. Can I get a Amen?
Here are some practical ways I try to live a life of gratitude:
Think of Others: When I am living in my own circumstances, it is easy to forget about the big picture. If the tragedies we have watched unfold lately as taught us anything, it is that we live in a hurting world. There is suffering all around us. When we reach out to a hurting world we are acknowledging their pain. When we are able to do that, it reminds us how blessed we are. Doing something to help someone doesn’t have to be a major project. It could paying for someone’s lunch. It could be checking on an old friend. It could be volunteering in your community. It could be taking time to mentor someone. That is gratitude in action.
Turn It Around: Life can be messy at times. This crazy/beautiful health journey I have been in for almost 16 years as been messy. It could be very easy for me to get caught up in the mess. But I decided to turn this messy journey into an opportunity. During this journey, God has allowed me to be a Missionary at doctors appointments and my many hospital stays. God has allowed me to encourage others going through their own messy journey. What a blessing that has been for me. All it took was me redirecting my thinking and attitude. Easier said than done sometimes, but I am forever grateful God helped me turn my messy situation around. God’s grace helps us find perspective when we practice the habit of gratitude.
God Has Big Shoulders: There are times when life is so messy that gratitude feels out of reach. I have experienced that several times during this crazy/beautiful health journey. When the test results and the doctors diagnosis were not what I wanted to hear gratitude was sometimes hard to find.
There were times I looked up to God and said really? Another incurable disease to add to the list. I was tired and frustrated. Guess what? God did not strike me down. He did not put me in timeout. No, He wrapped his loving arms around me and reminded me that He loved me and He was still in control. God also reminded me that I had so much to be grateful for. God had not abandoned me, rather, He was giving my wife Laura and I all the necessary things to get through this crazy/beautiful journey.
For me, living a life of gratitude is not possible without the grace of God. I encourage you to spend time talking with God and reading His word. Living a life of gratitude will keep you busy touching the lives of a hurting world. ~OC