I woke up one particular morning preoccupied by worries. How do I solve this problem? Will this be enough? As I mulled over possible solutions and outcomes, fear and unrest churned. "Something" prompted me to stop and give thanks for three things. Just three. Surely I could be thankful for just three things.
Yep, no problem.
✔ A safe place to call home.
This was not hard at all, considering the recent devastation in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. I found I could genuinely give thanks for much, much, more.
✔ Family, friends, church
✔ Purposeful, engaging work
✔ Reliable transportation
✔ Beautiful weather
✔ Above all, a loving, righteous, just God
This brief exercise did much to settle my unease. The situation hadn't changed, but I realized how rich and how richly blessed I am.
Then, my devotional reading that morning also helped to look at the problem in front of me from a different perspective. The reading reminded me there are two ways of living: self-centered living or God-centered living.
- Self-centered living is proud and relies on my own abilities and skills.
- God-centered living looks to God to make things happen.
Later that day, a friend gave me a copy of a short daily devotion.that she had found refreshing earlier in the week. It talked about the cartload of blessings that Jesus' followers enjoy.
At the end of the day, I could look back and see clearly how God had spoken to me directly - through a prompting, through Scripture, through a friend's encouragement and the writing of other Christians. No, there was no booming voice, no flashes of lightning. It was a gentle, quiet voice telling me to be still, to give thanks, to remember His goodness and watchcare over me.
God still speaks today - and if we will stop to listen, we will hear His messages.