“Feel thanks and it’s absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time.  And we get to choose – which emotion do we want to feel.” 

Ann Voskamp

One Thousand Gifts

Have you ever had one of those days, or moments, when it’s all just too much?  When nothing has gone the way you wanted or planned and you’re overtaken by all the feelings: frustration, anger, disappointment.  Those times when it’s so much easier to wallow than to crawl out of the mess of your circumstances.  Those are usually the absolute last moments that my earthly mind wants to feel thanks. But it’s in those moments that our Heavenly Father wants us to reach out with thanksgiving and gratitude.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we find Paul once again dishing out direction on the topic of gratitude: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Huh.  How often do we wonder what God’s will for our lives is, especially in the hard times.  And yet there it is in black and white. Give thanks in all circumstances.

Here’s where I imagine our Creator sitting back and watching us, kind of like a parent waiting to see if a child remembers to say thank-you.  He’s waiting for sincere gratitude to take root in our hearts.  He watches knowing that in the core of our being when we face the turmoil of life’s negative emotions,  there is one feeling that can turn them all around: thankfulness.  And he’s waiting to see what we decide to do.  Will we sit and wallow, or choose the path to peace?

I challenge you:  The next time life’s negative emotions have you off-kilter or spiraling down, stop, get a deep breath of fresh air and take a few moments to find a moment of gratitude. Then, step out into the path of peace.

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