The other day my adult son was tearing out our bathroom fixtures and flooring for an upcoming renovation project. In the middle of his scraping and banging to remove the ceramic tile, he uttered a loud cry of distress. As my husband and I went running to check on him, I called out, “Are you okay?!?”” only to be answered with an anxious response of, “No, it’s bad!”
Anticipating a severe cut on Joshua’s hand, I nearly melted in relief when we opened the door to find our soaking wet son standing there in a panic, desperately attempting to staunch the shooting stream of a broken waterline. Despite the mess that was not only spraying upon him, but rapidly pooling across what was left of the floor and walls, relief was the only feeling I experienced. No frustrations at watching water jet like a fire hydrant, gushing across the room and pouring into open holes. No anxiety over the fact that we now had no running water in the house and I was unable to wash the lunchtime dishes piled in the sink or run a glass of water to drink. No qualms about my husband having to replace a waterline. I was too busy being grateful. I didn’t have time to ponder the pool of water seeping across the floor, because I was otherwise occupied with thanking God that Joshua was unhurt.
It’s amazing how expressing gratitude can pull things into proper perspective.
Had I opened the bathroom door with the assumption that nothing was out of place and instead found the spraying waterline, I imagine my frustrations would have loomed much larger than the situation called for.
So the question is: How do I keep my perspective inline with truth every day? How do I face each challenge before me with the thought that things could always be worse than whatever it is that momentarily seems so large?
The answer: Gratitude.
Gratitude in remembering that our God is present in every moment of our lives. Not only present, but actively involved in each specific detail, whether I have eyes to see Him working or not.
So today, I offer a prayer to our heavenly Father, and I invite you to join me in expressing thankfulness to the One whose ways are perfect and whose heart is kind in dealing with His children:
I am so thankful that all Your ways are much higher than the meager lengths to which this finite mind can stretch. Not just higher, but perfect, and this I know well because the truth of Your word and the wisdom of Your ways has been proven time and again.
There is no one who has my best interests at heart more than You do.
There is no one who rises to shield me from danger faster than You.
There is no one more capable of equipping me and fortifying me to persevere throughout this obstacle course of life.
For who is God, except You, my Lord?
While others rise to accuse, You rush to defend.
While governments shift and tumble, You stand firm; solid and capable throughout the centuries.
When men betray and desert, You remain loyal and constant; steadfast in Your love for those who trust in You.
When I’m bombarded with questions, Your truth shines forth its timeless wisdom, pointing me to a better way of living. Of being.
When life’s struggles threaten to wear me down, Your promises strengthen me to continue on.
When the journey dips into perilous valleys deep, You lift me to high places and grace me with power to dance upon those heights.
When violent storms rush upon me, Your gentleness quiets my spirit; Your right hand holds me secure and soothes the anxiousness of my soul.
When the ache of loneliness threatens to crush me with its heaviness, Your steady rhythms of mercy accompany the beat of my heart and bring joy, reminding me that I am never alone.
When the world is in the throes of upheaval, You deliver me from the strivings of men, infiltrating me with a peace that shatters all earthly limitations.
When nations curse Your name, I will continue to give thanks to You and sing praises to Your greatness.
When men glory in themselves, I will glory in the cross of Christ and find my hope in You.
And when things as ordinarily irritating as broken waterlines challenge me to become frustrated, I will choose to live with gratitude toward the One who does all things well.
For truly, there is no God except the Lord, the One who deals kindly with me and with my descendants both now and forever.
In gratitude, I stand redeemed.