Does this title summarize your feelings as 2014 wraps up? Are you going through your days with this mindset? Before you say “No,” do any of these apply to you?
- You or a loved one had or have a significant sickness
- Divorce came to you or someone close this year
- You are grieving over a wayward child
- A relationship was lost
- Unemployment happened
- You lost a loved one this year
- You succumbed to temptation and habitual sin occurred…again
- You had other big losses or disappointments
- A steady stream of small losses or disappointments were the backdrop of your year
Maybe these words of the psalmist summarize where you are right now?
“Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me.
I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” Psalm 69: 1-3. [NLT]
These feelings are real. And, given that similar thoughts are recorded in the Bible, they are ok. But we shouldn’t stay there. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”1 It is important to bring these feelings and burdens to Jesus.
It is also a great help to focus on what you do have. For example:
- You are on an electronic device right now—which means you have access to the internet
- You can read this—which means you are mentally ok
- You are probably not reading this from a park bench—which means you have shelter
- You are not reading this naked—which means you have clothing
- It’s likely you’ve eaten today—which means you have access to food
The Lord has provided these basic things, but we can find far more to be thankful for when we take time to think about it. So why not do this right now? Write down what happened in 2014 that you can give thanks for.
When you focus on Jesus and give thanks for these blessings (large and small), it will help you to work through the challenges life laid at your doorstep this past year. We see this principle in action later in Psalm 69 when the psalmist, after dealing with disappointment and a desire for revenge, comes to the point where he writes “I will praise the name of God with a song: I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”2
Thanksgiving is God’s antidote to the trials we experience. Allow Him to remind you of how much He loves you and how much you have to be thankful for.
1Matthew 11:28, New Living Translation
2Psalm 69:30, ibid.