A Thankful Perspective

Ok, so it happened. I am not happy about it but this is life. I have to wear Tree and Blur (1 of 1)reading glasses. Buying cute stylish glasses only slightly dulls the pain of having to wear them. I don’t know when it happened but recently I found that my arm wasn’t long enough. I have been moving things further away so that I could get my eyes to focus but my arm suddenly isn’t long enough! The hardest things to read right now are medication directions. I don’t know whose idea it was to put so many tiny words on a bottle but they are impossible to read. Smelly Monster #3 needed cold medication. I picked up the bottle and squinted to bring the words into focus. I had pretty much decided that I knew how much to give, when the little Monster tapped my shoulder and handed me my glasses. He might have mumbled that it wasn’t in his best interest to be overdosed because I was too proud to wear my glasses. Kids! However, as soon as I put the glasses on things looked entirely different. They came into focus. My perspective changed. I was no longer squinting and holding the bottle 2 feet away trying to figure out the dosing. I could easily read the directions. (Just in case the Smelly Monster Grandma reads this, I was right and wasn’t getting ready to overdose the Angel Monster!)

Thankfulness is the lens that filters out pride and pity. It sorts through the blurry haze of pain and loss. Thankfulness puts life into focus. Psalms 100 is the go-to Bible chapter for thankfulness. However, before we enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise the Psalmist reminds us to remember that the one we serve is God Almighty. He created us. We didn’t do this by ourselves. This tiny principle should change our perspective and allow us to focus on the bigger picture. When we are thankful we look beyond ourselves and see things in light of eternity.

4 actions that help put things into focus:

  1. Embrace God’s sovereignty. It is humbling and comforting to know that there is someone bigger than me who is in charge. II Chronicles  20:6 We can rest in the confidence that God is in control and that He is actively aware of what is happening. He is God in Heaven. We can be thankful that he has things under control.
  2. Remember that God is always good. Psalm 136:1 Circumstances are not always good but God is always good. His mercy endures even when our perspective is self-focused. He loves us more than we love our children and that is something I can’t even comprehend. We can be thankful that God’s goodness endures in spite of our frailties.
  3. Ask for wisdom. James 1:5 It is OK that we don’t get it. We are not able to understand the ways of God. His ways are higher. Turn to the one who holds the answers and ask for wisdom and understanding. He won’t fuss. It is an act of faith to turn to God for the answers. We can be thankful that we have access to the one with the answers.
  4. Walk in truth. Col. 3:16 We need to be very careful what and who we allow to speak into our lives. We have to make sure we are only giving real truth a seat at the table. The world, our own sin nature and Satan want to speak their “truth” into our hearts and it can really mess us up. We should fill our mind and heart with scripture. Listen to uplifting music. Lean on seasoned Christians. Read books and blogs that speak God-based truth into our lives. We can be thankful that we have the real truth.

The graphic today shows a tree in focus and the background in a total blur. How many times have we allowed our circumstances to become our focus and miss all the blessings that are going on in the background? The tree in the picture is our fear, pain or loss. God wants us to step back and allow the lens of thankfulness to filter and bring into focus his ultimate purpose in our lives.

What events in your life have caused you to become focused on the “tree?” What can you do today to look through the lens of thankfulness and see God working?