"Thankfulness opens the door to My Presence. Though I am always with you, I have gone to great measures to preserve your freedom of choice. I have placed a door between you and Me, and I have empowered you to open or close that door. There are many ways to open it, but a grateful attitude is one of the most effective.
Thankfulness is built on a substructure of trust. When thankful words stick in your throat, you need to check up on your foundation of trust. When thankfulness flows freely from your heart and lips, let your gratitude draw you closer to Me. I want you to learn the art of giving thanks in all circumstances.See how many times you can thank Me daily; this will awaken your awareness to a multitude of blessings. It will also cushion the impact of trials when they come against you. Practice My Presence by practicing the discipline of thankfulness."
Psalm 100:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It is no secret that I have been struggling to have a positive spirit or a positive outlook at my job. Lately I've dreaded every single day going into work and it's just a miserable experience until 5 o'clock rolls around. I find myself in a pit of complaints: complaints about the work, my boss, the commute, the strict new rules we must follow…definitely not a very Christianly spirit. I haven't been grateful to God for the things I should be thankful for and goodness knows I haven't expressed them to Him.
After reading this mornings devotional in Jesus Calling, I prayed that the Lord would help me to have a grateful heart, recognize the blessings He has given me, and verbally praise God for His goodness. I went about my morning like normal and while driving to work the heavens opened up and it
poured monsooned rain. Guess whose umbrella was in the trunk of her car- this girl!! I absentmindedly prayed that the Lord would let the rain stop when I arrived at work so my hair wouldn't look liked a drowned rat going into work. Pulled into the work parking lot and -poof- rain stopped for 4 minutes to let me get inside pretty much dry. Blessing #1
Later in the afternoon I got an e-mail from my boss and in an uncharacteristically kind and thoughtful gesture, she had sent me a Starbucks gift certificate to 'thank me for all my hand work and dedication lately'. Considering I have little interaction with her anymore, the fact that she went out of her way to send me the gift card was a kind and thoughtful gift. Blessing #2
On my afternoon lunch break I had to take my car into the shop for an oil change. I thought I'd be clever and book it for the late afternoon so less people would be there and it'd be quick. Well an hour and a half later I was still sitting in the lobby! Finally the technician came in and retrieved me and brought me back out to my car. He apologized that it took so long and told me that because it took so long, this one was on the house today. Blessing #3
I got back into my car and headed back to work, going back to my devotion that morning: "See how many times you can thank Me daily; this will awaken your awareness to a multitude of blessings. It will also cushion the impact of trials when they come against you. Practice My Presence by practicing the discipline of thankfulness." Blessings can be small and tiny things throughout a day from a rainbow, a singing bird, a breeze on a hot day, but when you start viewing them as blessings from the Lord they become that much sweeter. There are seasons in life when it doesn't feel like Lord is blessing you but maybe if we start praising Him for the small things in life, that season will become more bearable and positive. The Lord is good all the time, and all the time the Lord is good.