Can we talk about being thankful for a bit? Have you ever been so busy concerning yourself with what you don't have that you fail to recognize what you do have? I'll be the first to raise my hand and admit that I have been guilty of it. It is in those times when God will shift our mindset from thinking of our cup (our life or situation) as being half empty to seeing it as half full. During those experiences, that make us appreciate what we do have compared to what we could've had or deserved to have, we learn to recognize even the smallest of blessings in some of the biggest messes.
Lets just get right into it...
It was a Saturday and I was running errands. I had been feeling down because I let one small issue turn everything upside down. Then I found myself dissatisfied with my life and the season I was in...
Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in a wave of a difficult situation and before you know it you're drowning in an ocean of despair that YOU created. All because you gave your circumstances the power to dictate your state of mind.
... I saw this young girl (maybe 18 or 19) walking with her infant child. Before I could pass her up completely, the Holy Spirit said "stop and pick her up." Without hesitation I put the car in reverse... in on coming traffic I might add... rolled down the window and asked her if she needed a ride. I noticed that she was crying and looked worn out. She answered with a "yes, please" and they both got in.
To make a long story short she was having some family issues and just needed to get to a place with some air conditioning. So we headed to target and the Holy Spirit directs me again, only this time I'm told to pray for her before we part ways. We get to Target and I'm actually a little nervous because I don't want the girl to think I'm crazy, but I ask her "Can I pray with you?" anyway. She looked at me with this look on her face as if to say "Yes, I could really use some of that." So we prayed, I wished her well and they both went inside.
As I was driving home I had begun to take into account how blessed I truly was. Not because of the young lady's misfortune but because that could've been me.. or you. Any one of us could have our lives turned up side down at any moment. There I was fuming about all the things that weren't going right in my life and all that young lady wanted was a ride to the store to get her and her child out of the heat for awhile. Situations like that cause you to put things in perspective rather quickly. A good old self-check if you will.
It reminded me of the story told in 2 Kings 4. There was a widow whose husband had died and a creditor was coming to collect a debt and was threatening to take her children as payment. She went to the Prophet Elisha for help. He asked her "...What do you have in your house?" (v. 2) She replied "I have nothing in my house except a jar of olive oil" (v. 3). Elisha told her to gather as many jars as she could and pour oil into all of them. She did exactly what he said and in the end she and her children ran out of jars to fill because they had so much oil. Elisha told her to "...sell the oil, and pay your debt. the rest is for you and your children." (v. 7). What I’m getting at is, the widow was so concerned about what she didn't have that she failed to see what she did have. Using what she had, operating according to her faith, and by the power of God she was able to meet her family's needs and then some. Her jar wasn't half empty but half full.
That day, in that moment I was like that Widow with the oil. I was focused on the wrong thing. Then the Lord allowed me to have an encounter that brought my attention back to Him. Not the money I didn't have, the body I didn't have, the car I didn't or whatever the "I didn't have" was for that day. He allowed me to see that I was blessed. That I had everything I needed, and if I allowed Him to do His work with what I had, then I would come to find out that doing so would have my life overflowing with blessings. Just like the Widow's oil. So I encourage you to be thankful for what you do have and let God use you right where you are. You may not understand it or even agree with it but I'll tell you what: God's plans for you are far greater than anything that you could ever come up with. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us as much. Look at your half full cup and forget about the emptiness your situation would have you to see. Focus on the good and the positive. Focus on the great God who loves you more than words can describe.
Be grateful. Half full is better than none at all.
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