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The Scripture for the day is (insert drum roll sound here):
1Vindicate me, O God,
and plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.
2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
3 Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
4 Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
This passage is incredibly timely for me. May I be honest with you all, at the risk of being kicked off of Gratitude Island? I’ve hinted at the fact that I’ve been going through some rough stuff of late. And I don’t want to over dramatize it, because it really isn’t that bad. I have shelter, food, clothes, and a wonderful family and friends. So objectively, things could truly be much worse. Subjectively, I’m not in a Little Miss Sunshine period of my life.
I know I’m to consider it pure joy when I face trials, and that sounds really good when I can mentally pick trials: “God, I’ll take ‘Why do I have no money’ for 500. And I’d like to buy a vowel.” But real life trials, by definition, tend to consist of a bunch of things you really, really don’t want to have happen.
My heart is heavy, and I wrote this post, I don’t feel very grateful. I know feelings aren’t everything, but I hate doing things that seem as inauthentic as this post does to me right now. I’m honestly sorry that I am unable to nudge my soul into the proper position of gratitude; I’m at the end of my rope and can only pray that the Spirit will redeem this poor excuse for a sacrifice of praise (Heads-up: in two days we get a post regarding giving praise to God for suffering. So get pumped!).
Here are my 5 little gratitudes for the day.
1) “Put your hope in God.” I can do that. I’m not good at it. And I sulk a lot. But I am blessed to have hope, and I can strive to take up my trials with joy in light of that hope.
2) Today is over. Tomorrow is a new day. God expects me to live each day in proportion to my ability–He doesn’t expect feats of spiritual grandeur during times like these. He just expects faithfulness, and He’s been extremely gracious in giving me everything I need for faithfulness.
3) The ability to read and write. Without the ability to give and glean communication through the written word, my life would be depleted of so much.
4) Blisters. I know, odd one, right? I was breaking in a new pair of flip-flops while in Greenville, and I got massive blisters on both sides of my left foot. They didn’t hurt at all, but because I’m essentially a two-year-old when it comes to impulse control, I popped one of them and realized that they actually serve a great purpose (the ground zero of a blister hurts a lot). And then I pondered how amazing our bodies are to have such cool little protective systems built right in.
5) Yesterday I harvested basil from my garden! Note to self: when planting herbs, don’t just buy the seeds and bung them into any old spot of earth. It’s very helpful if you put them in a pot so they are self-contained, and you don’t have to wander around nibbling plants in your backyard in hopes of finding them. After several minutes of chewing up a myriad of plants that all tasted like dirt, I concluded that either the sage and thyme are lost forever or they taste like weeds and I didn’t want them anyway. But the basil was delicious.
Ok, dear ones. You’re up. Hit me with 5 things for which you are grateful today. Oh, and while I can’t officially be grateful for you, because that would violate my “no repeats” rule, please know that you bless and inspire me greatly.