Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back to the Emergency Room?

          “Welcome back Mrs. Carrillo.” Said the  ER doctor as he walked in the room. “How did that kidney stone turn out for you last time?”  I couldn’t believe it!  It had been six months since I was last in the ER.  What were the chances of getting the same doctor this time? My husband and I laughed. How is it that we end up at the hospital so many times? One year he had gallbladder surgery over Father’s Day weekend, and now on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, I might be facing the same thing! We joked that we should buy our own hospital gown and booties and bring them with us, since we were there so often.
            There were a few years in our family, when each of us went through some health difficulties. Our daughter had cancer when she was 2 years old. Our son had to have a heart ablation when he was 8. My husband had extensive kidney surgery. All three have had knee problems. Several family members, including our dog, Tacoma, have had ACL repair surgery.  It is not fun at all. There have been seasons when it was painful to walk or run, and I could not exercise at all. I have decided I’m a sunshine girl. I need to get outside, preferably in the sunshine, everyday to keep a positive, happy outlook. Being stuck inside, not feeling well is depressing.
            Because of these health issues, one of the things I am most thankful for in life is good health. It sounds trite to be thankful for good health. Some people take it for granted, especially if they have not had any health problems. But to me, I appreciate feeling healthy and knowing my family is healthy.
            Isn’t that how it is for all of us? Aren’t we most thankful for things we have lost or had to do without? People who had a foreclosure or lost their house are usually very thankful to have a roof over their heads. People who have been laid off are thankful to have jobs. People who have been childless for a season are exceptionally thankful when they have a child. People who have been set free from addictions are extremely thankful they are not in that place anymore.

            The Bible calls for us to be thankful in all situations, not FOR the situations, but IN the situations. This is hard to do, especially when we are in pain or a loved one is in pain. In fact 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says it is God’s will for us to give thanks in all circumstances.
            Kent Crocket in his book, Making Today Count for Eternity, gives four reasons for being thankful in every situation.
                  The attitude of gratitude is important for several reasons:
                          §         Thankfulness acknowledges that God is our provider.
                          §         Thankfulness prevents a complaining spirit.
                          §         Thankfulness creates a positive outlook on life
                          §         Thankfulness invites joy to dwell in our hearts.

            Even when we are in the middle of a challenge, there is usually something to be thankful for. We don’t want to be complainers. We want to have joy and a positive outlook on life.  It starts with being thankful right where we are. Ann Voskamp in her book, One Thousand Gifts, quickly goes past surface thankfulness, and becomes thankful for everything. Many of the things she finds to be thankful for are small, normal everyday things. She kept a journal out all the time and recorded what she was thankful for throughout the day and she found one thousand things she was thankful for!
            Being thankful in all our circumstances brings us closer to the Lord. We are acknowledging the Lord is our provider, sustainer, savior, and God. He will never leave us or forsake us. He died that we might have the abundant life now and in eternity. The thankful life is a joyful life. We all have much to be thankful for. Sometimes we just need to look around us.
            Remember today when you pray, don’t just ask for something, thank God for as may ‘gifts’ as you can think of.

Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever.”

For more ABC's on Growing Closer to God, click click here for R or here for S.

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