Monday, January 4, 2016

A Light in the Dark

Sometimes life is hard and overwhelming.  It seems as if you are walking in darkness and struggling to find your way.  It may be financial pressures, family relationships or health issues weighing you down.  It's easy to begin to get that panicky, anxious feeling. 

And yet, Philippians tells us to turn those concerns over to the Lord.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) ~

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As we pray about those concerns and notice it says, with thanksgiving, we will begin to experience God's peace.  It's like a little light shining in the darkness.  It's a little glimmer of hope. The more we turn those burdens to the Lord and thank Him, the brighter the light shines.  Not always easy, is it?  Yet, in order to experience that peace, it is a necessary exercise.

It's Monday and the day when I list my weekly blessings.  I started doing this about 4 years ago and sometimes it seems silly to number them and list them here but then I realize it keeps my focus in the right place.  It's a visual reminder of the many ways I am blessed.  And that keeps me thankful and brings some light to those dark days I experience sometimes.

This week I'm thankful for blessings #2611 - 2622.

2611.  A beautiful handmade gift from a friend

2612.  A relaxing week of vacation

2613.  Fresh fruit available year round. 

2614.  Catching up with friends we haven't seen in a while.

2615.  Morning times with the Lord.

2616.  The sound of heat kicking on and knowing how blessed I am to have a roof over my head.

2617.  Hanging out with a friend and chatting while the guys watch football.

2618.  Steaming hot cups of coffee.

2619.  Enjoying the lights of the Christmas tree in the dark.

2620.  The beauty of falling snow.

2621.  Walking into a church service feeling stressed and cranky and walking out feeling peaceful and joyful.

and finally...

2622.  The joy that springs out of thanksgiving.