30/30. Job Loss. Stocks Crash. Graditude.

11 11 2008

uncertainty1b“Because of the stock market crash, we only have about 10% of what thought we would have for retirement.”

A few weeks back I ran into parents of an old college friend at Panera. As we caught up on life, they shared their current retirement struggles. People in Michigan are suffering…I could go on and on of people I know personally who have been laid off and let go in their jobs. Others have lost their homes. One in Five Americans owes more on their house than it’s worth. In the ride of life, right now rough and uncertain times are inescapable and happen to everyone.

But in the middle of this storm, Christ wants to reveal himself to us and show where we can go to find real certainty in uncertain times. It often storms like these that clarify for us what is really important in life.
If we pause enough to listen to God in these moments, I believe he has something he wants to say to every one of us. His message of hope and thanks just might shape the rest of our life. God just might want to teach you and me such a huge life lesson that we end up passing it on to our kids.

One of the greatest lessons I’m learning is to “Start Each Day Thankful.” There are two types of graditude…spontaneous and conscious. Spontaneous gratitude happens in our life when things are going great when you are suprised by what life gives you. That is easy and happens naturally. But most of us stop there with graditude. God is calling us to move on to deeper thankfulness. Concious graditude is an intentional approach to life that focuses on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. It’s saying “I am going to focus on what I have instead of what I have lost. This may be the season of my life right now, but it’s only a slice of my life. I am going to work to be a person that notices everything God has given me and live out of gratitude.”

In I Timothy 6:6-8, Paul mentors a young man with a rockin’ name to live a life of graditude and contentment. “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” I want to live out of that kind of wealth in my life and live out of what is really important in life…my relationship with Jesus and my relationship with others. That’s real wealth and worth passing on to my kids.

“But I’ve lost so much.” But what do you STILL have? Seriously…think about it.

I’m learning no matter what happens, God is still my father, Jesus is still my Savior, the Holy Spirit is still my comforter, heaven is still my home, my wife still adores me, my kids still love me, my friends still stand beside me, my health is still good. I am still breathing and God still has an incredible plan and purpose for my life.

What do you STILL have? Pause today to notice all God has given you. Start each day thankful.

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