Yesterday, as I stood on the platform ready to help lead worship, I looked out at the congregation and saw frowning faces, weighed down by concerns, worries, or just not enough sleep. The discouragement was palpable and those type of moods really do affect the atmosphere of a Sunday morning worship service.
After breathing a quick prayer, I felt led to have people call out one way they were blessed during the past week. It was a bit scary at first, because no one spoke! However, first one person, then another, then many began to list the ways they saw God's hand on their life. And immediately the mood shifted. People began to smile. It was almost as if a depressing spirit had been lifted from the place. And worship of God began.
God created us for praise. When we take our eyes of our misery and start putting them squarely on His face, hope is birthed. When we look for His hand in the happenings of our life, we are transformed into people of praise. When we see Him in the smile of a child, through the small kindness of a stranger, a moment in our busy day, or the beauty of a flower, we overflow with thanksgiving.
I believe God desires our thanksgiving, not because He basks in our praise but because it is good for us! It helps us to focus on the positive, the good, the blessed, and the holy. Thankfulness is good for the heart!
This week I am thanking God for blessings #1645-1657.
♥ Craft items given by generous friends.
♥ A friend who pulled some strings to get me into the doctor's office early after an attack of diverticulitis.
♥ Cheerful singing.
♥ The different tastes & texture of food. I haven't been able to have anything but liquids since last Tuesday so I'm really looking forward to that (tomorrow I can start) and am thankful for the food we eat.
♥ Talking through issues with my children.
♥ Renewed excitement in our church leadership.
♥ Small miracles that happen all around us. Mama Phoebe laid four more eggs and it's fun watching the various stages.
♥ Beautiful colors.
♥ The feeling of stretching out in bed at the end of a productive day.
♥ A friend who gave an unexpected gift.
♥ Late afternoon shadows.
♥ Praise that brings forth joy!