Friday afternoon I met with a couple of students from Shevchenko. We discussed Philippians 4:4-8 and then we took some time to pray together.
In case you aren’t familiar with this passage, it’s this (emphasis mine):
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (NASB)
We talked about thankfulness and how it turns our focus to those things which are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise. It helps us shift our focus from all the crap that is happening around us and to us and reminds us of the greatness of God, His faithfulness, His promises, and His love.
I thought I had a lot LAST week to be thankful for, but I have had quite the opportunity for thankfulness since Friday evening. It hasn’t come easily though.
Part of me doesn’t want to rejoice, doesn’t want to be thankful. I want to know why. I want the answers. I want the person responsible to pay and not me.
And yet, I find that I must CHOOSE to be thankful.
So here’s a partial list:
- I’m thankful that I still have an apartment!
- I’m thankful that one of us came home to find it and get help (though I still wish it hadn’t been me!)
- I’m thankful that I had enough clarity of mind to turn off the stove where I was cooking dinner so we didn’t end up with two fires!
- I’m thankful I hadn’t passed off my phone yet to get the iOS upgraded or I wouldn’t have been able to call anyone.
- I’m thankful there’s a “what to do in case of fire” sign by the elevator that I could point to and use my limited Russian and amazing charade skills to get the point across.
- I’m thankful for all the people who called, messaged or expressed concern, willingness to help and huge hugs.
- I’m thankful for the neighbors who ran into my apartment and started helping throw water on the fire.
I have a lot of reasons to be thankful every day, but events like this make you even more aware.
If you ask me how I’m doing and I’m honest then I’ll probably tell you, “I’m not okay, but I will be okay.” I just have to keep focusing on all the many blessings in the midst of the overwhelming and I’m still working on the rejoicing part.
What are you thankful for today?