How do I find thankfulness and joy when I’m running on empty?
by Julie Loos
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 [NIV]
Thanksgiving was here. And honestly, thankfulness was the furthest thing from my mind.
I had family around me, good food to eat and a roof over my head, but it had been a long, tough season. Everything inside of me was reeling from a place of hurt. The pain was prolonged, and gratitude was hard to muster up.
That day, I smiled my way through and mimicked everyone’s festive mindset, but it wasn’t the way I really felt.
How do you choose thankfulness and joy when inside there is only a feeling of emptiness?
Four Truths about God and My Feelings:
1. God is faithful.
2. He never changes.
3. Feelings will constantly change.
4. My feelings will confuse, twist and lie to me.
The truth is, tough seasons will continually come here on Earth. We are promised to experience them in the Bible.
These seasons strengthen our faith, and cause us to be refined like Jesus. God has pre-filtered out what we will experience and learn in these seasons. He’s making us the best we can be.
It’s easy to practice joy and thankfulness when we are elated at life, but it’s faith-building when we display it in the midst of the mess.
Thankfulness and joy are choices. We have to choose to experience them. It’s deliberate action on our part. We can practice these expressions even when we don’t feel like it inside.
Thankfulness and joy are choices. We have to choose to experience them. –Tweet this!
We find our ability to display these fruits of the Spirit when we are in a daily, intimate connection with our Savior. The close encounter we build will help us traverse the great seasons, and the seasons that stink.
We will find a joy for living and a thankfulness that surpasses all the chaos and sinking lows.
Father- Thank you for being accessible to me. You offer a relationship with me whenever I want. Please help me become so intertwined with you, that I can step through whatever season comes my way. Help me find joy and thankfulness when I don’t feel it inside. You are so good, and you make my life better! In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids, and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years. She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. You can find her blog at unmaskingthemess.com
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