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  • Steve McFarland

I'm Thankful For...

I just picked up lunch at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. I picked it up because I wasn’t allowed to sit there. Right now, it isn’t hard to notice all the things I can’t do they stare at me right in the face. I am reminded of them constantly by media, posted signs, and cautionary words from my daughter the nurse. It would be easy to allow all the “can’t do that’s” to dominate my thoughts and shape my attitude. But instead, I have determined to put into practice the instructions the apostle Paul gave in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18;

Always be joyful.

Never stop praying.

Be thankful in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Note he did not say be thankful for all circumstances but in all circumstances. In other words, don’t let your circumstances dictate your attitude, instead consider the things God has given that you are thankful for. This is what David, someone who had experienced a lot of “can’t do that’s” in his life, declared in Psalm 107:21:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,

And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

So, I made a list of some of the things I’m thankful for;,

  • Color: that everything is not in black and white, the multiple shades of blue in the ocean, the yellows, pinks, and purples of a sunset, the thousands of varieties of flowers

  • Taste: that eating isn’t just for sustaining life but there can be such delightful pleasure in different flavors (I think of the reaction Ellie Skillin had eating her first ice cream cone)

  • Sound: birds chirping and singing, the roar of ocean waves, jazz, the joyful call of “Pops”

  • Friends: people who have chosen to be a part of my life and allowed me to be a part of theirs

  • Family: parents who forged their way through incredible hardship to make available a better life for my siblings and me. A wife that is a true-life partner. Two daughters and 3 sons who challenge me, encourage me, and make me laugh. Two perfectively imperfect grandsons and a third on his way.

  • Jesus: as the old hymn says:

Many things about tomorrow

I don't seem to understand

But I know who holds tomorrow

And I know who holds my hand

Why don’t you make your own list and when you start to get bogged down by all the “can’t do that’s” pull it out, read it, and pray a prayer of thankfulness. It will do wonders for you.

Pastor Steve



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