“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7
This month our focus has been on graduations, with a suggestion that we stop and celebrate our steps forward – the progress we have made in life – no matter how insignificant they may seem.
In each chapter of our life we have met adversities, challenges and losses. They have created anxiety and fear and disappointment. Yet as we have met them, we have not only developed muscles of endurance and determination, but have learned how to turn discouragement into hope and new resolve.
So take a few minutes and celebrate all the times you picked yourself up and tried again, went back to the drawing table, figured out some new strategies and dug into your backpack of resolve and came back with new willpower and fortitude.
Celebrate and give thanks to God who has strengthened you, given you new understanding to meet each new day. As we reflect on all the steps we have already taken, we realize that God has been with us in the midst of our discouragement and sometimes despair. When life seemed to be at its worst, we received that hand up, that word of encouragement, that unselfish gift from a friend.
When life is at its toughest, it is hard to think of all the blessings we have been given. We only see the dark side of life. But when we make it a habit to be grateful, we find there is much to be grateful for.
Gratefulness is how we guard our hearts against discouragement. It is where we find peace and hope for tomorrow. It is where we get renewed strength. Ending your day with words of thankfulness can give you a good night’s sleep.
As we give honest reflection and acknowledge all our accomplishments, no matter how small, give that prayer of thanks to God who has been there with you each step of the way.