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Shift Your Focus

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV

I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day with your family. If you are heading out to the beaches, have fun but stay safe. If you are staying home, then try to find some uplifting activities you can do with your family. I know for many of us life still seems strange – I still sometimes do a double take when I see someone wearing a mask – and we wonder when things will return to normal. But while we wait, we can still try to be thankful for what we do have.

It’s easy to give thanks when your day is going well. You’re wearing your favorite t-shirt. You got a great parking spot. Your coffee is the perfect temperature with just the right mix of sugar and creamer. You get lots of likes on the selfie you posted to Instagram and you never heard of something called COVID-19.

But what about those moments like now when things aren’t going so well?  Every day seems to bring with it large doses of discomfort, things that gnaw at our peace and rob of us of our joy. In moments like these, giving thanks is difficult. But giving thanks is also essential if you want to navigate these experiences with a positive outlook. This doesn’t mean being phony or pasting on a smile no matter what.

Rather, it’s about taking a moment to shift your focus. Instead of grumbling about all the sadness and uncertainty around us, thank God for what you do have – health, food on the table, family, a roof over your head – things we take for granted, but for some people they are luxuries. Choose to turn the uncomfortable moments in life into thankfulness. Until next time, stay safe!

God, when I’m tempted to complain and grumble, help me to stop and shift my focus. I want to be someone who lives in continual gratitude. Let me never lose sight of the blessings You’ve poured out on me.