At lunch today, a new friend was telling me about her recent moment of being overwhelmed. “I had strep throat and I was laying in my bed thinking about everything that was out of my control. Every inch of my kitchen was full of sawdust because there were damaged floors still in the middle of getting fixed, we’d just bought another house to flip, I had meetings on my calendar, I was preparing to travel, and I had to put everything on hold because I was so sick!”
In the middle of feeling utterly helpless, she turned on some worship music. She remembers how the Lord then touched her heart in her sick bed, replacing her overwhelming helplessness with overwhelming gratitude. She was grateful she had a nice house to fix and clean. She was grateful she had extra income to buy a house to flip. She was grateful she had people who wanted to meet with her. She was grateful she got to travel. She was grateful she had a body that would heal!
I too have recently been feeling overwhelmed…struggling with time management, balancing priorities, and anxiety about people pleasing. I have probably thought “It never ends” pretty much every day of 2016 so far! But that ended today, over my Mongolian beef and steamed white rice, when I had a mini revelation about my struggle.
We are not always meant to see God’s big picture or complete timeline of everything we are called to accomplish. Sometimes it’s because we couldn’t handle it if we saw how it all turns out right now and sometimes it’s because God is growing our relationship with Him. I believe God is handing me one puzzle piece at a time of His big picture, and calling on me to find the pieces of gratitude within them.
-I work at least 9+ hours a day, 6 days a week. BUT I am grateful that I have work that helps others, blesses me, and that points people to Jesus!
-I wish I could lose these last few pounds. BUT I am grateful I have time to work out and stay healthy!
-I rarely get to hang with friends or go on dates. BUT I am grateful I have an amazing boyfriend and friends who get my life, support me near or far, love me, and respect me!
One of my favorite verses is John 16:33, when Jesus says, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
The Bible says that we’re not called to live a problem-free, perfect life. But we are called to glorify God through the happy and the crappy! (Uh, can I say “crappy”?! Well I just did!) When the big picture stresses me out, I have to remind myself that only God is in control of the big picture. My job is to focus on the puzzle piece He hands me, one day at a time. And God touched my heart today so that I could refocus on finding the gratitude in every piece of the life He gives me.
Every day is full of stuff we can’t control. Every day is also full of choices. Whether you are in a season of transition or a season of waiting for God to give you the next piece of the puzzle, it’s up to you to choose your perspective and live it out. God doesn’t expect us to be 100% grateful all the time, but I think God loves it when we can find gratitude…piece by piece.