This morning I woke up and took a step without pain. It was just one step, but man it felt good. I whooped and hollered and then just sat and enjoyed the accomplishment that had eluded me for nearly 3 years. I called my mom and she was very excited for me, told a friend who was encouraging, and mentioned it to another acquaintance whose response was “me too, so what.” My joy fled and I wast taken aback by his response. He knows my situation and knows how long its been since I walked last, why would he say something like that?
I was genuinely upset, so I sat down to use the tools the Healing Journey has provided to overcome offense and move on. As I sat and thought about it, it hit me that not everyone has discovered the importance of celebrating the simple victories that happen each day. I have learned through my journey that when there are good days you enjoy them to the fullest because they won’t last. Without realizing it I also learned to simply celebrate life.
How different would our lives be if we learned to celebrate life simply because we have the opportunity to live it. When you wake up in the morning and are still breathing, why not celebrate that moment? How many times have I been told that there is a chance I wouldn’t open my eyes again. Maybe celebrate sticking to your diet or showing self control in other areas of life. How about celebrating that you survived the day?
I think we spend so much time looking forward to the future, and all its scary and unknown aspects, that we forget to enjoy the life that we have today. How different would our life be if we took the time to celebrate all the little victories – God blessings – in each day we live. Celebration begins to look just like thanksgiving. Celebrate what God has done by thanking him for his work in your life.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 8:16-18
Did you catch that? “Rejoice always… give thanks in all circumstances…” So many times people use this verse to encourage people that are struggling in life to continue to be thankful for what good is still in their life. This is true. HOWEVER, I think we forget the thanksgiving in the good times as well. People will tell you that its hard to be thankful when life is hard and you are suffering, but I think its harder to remember to be thankful when life is going just peachy.
When things are not going well in one area, the areas of life that are going well seem to be highlighted. “I am still breathing, have support from family and friends, am provided for, etc.” Maybe I’ve just trained myself to look for the good in every bad situation, but I find I am lacking in finding and being thankful for the good in every good situation. There is power in acknowledging the blessings in the midst of the good times and the bad times. Paul tells us to be thankful through every part of life.
What happens when we take the time to thank God for everything that is going right in our lives? Would your day change if you started it by celebrating and enjoying everything you have, instead of worrying about the things that may or may not even happen. Would you like to experience more joy in your day? Would you respond differently to the trials of life if you were in the habit of celebrating not living with apprehension and fear?
Thanksgiving is the key to joy and the destroyer of worry and fear.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4)
“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
” God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:12b
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Follow the progression with me:
- Thanksgiving is how we are to enter the presence of God.
- In God’s presence there is fullness of joy.
- God’s presence abides in me.
- God’s perfect love drives out all fear (worry).
- Because God lives in me and thus all fear and worry must go.
- Thanksgiving drives out fear.
So to live life fully and without fear, you have to be thankful each and every day.
I challenge you to wake up each morning and find (3) SIMPLE things that you are thankful for. Breath, the ability to walk, talk and think, the smile of a child, the crazy antics of a pet, or the taste of a crisp apple. Then I want you to find (3) TANGIBLE things to be thankful for. These things are your house, car, money in the bank, and such things. Now find (4) CHARACTERS of God that you are thankful for. His love, mercy, peace, generosity, and provision are just a few.
Do this everyday and I guarantee that you will find more joy, and less fear, in your day to day life. Thank God for the simple, the tangible, but most of all for who he is! Our life needs to be lives all for His glory, and then and only then will we truly be able to live a full life. SIMPLY CELEBRATE AND CELEBRATE THE SIMPLE!