Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Do You Need A Rescue List?

Dear Friends,

There’s a story of an old country parson who was always filled with the joy of the Lord and unrelentingly thankful even during the worst of circumstances. That Saturday an unexpectedly huge snow storm swept over their town and they awoke Sunday morning to downed trees, no electrical power and collapsed roofs. As a few hardy parishioners gathered in the church for Sunday services they grumbled out loud that there was certainly nothing for the good reverend to be thankful about that morning. “MERCIFUL FATHER!” bellowed the pastor, “WE COME INTO THY PRESENCE AND THANK THEE THAT NOT ALL DAYS ARE LIKE THIS ONE..!!”

We celebrate Thanksgiving day in November but as Christians, we have so much to be thankful for, one day is not enough for us.  We have a season of Lent to prepare us for Easter Sunday and a season of Advent to prepare us for Christmas Day. Perhaps we need a “season of thanksgiving” and maybe the season should start today and never come to an end. Because as Christian believers, everyday should be a day of thanksgiving. G.K. Chesterton said, “When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” And that's why the Apostle Paul said, “ everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18 

As the country parson found, there is always something we can give thanks for even in the worst of storms. But how do we remain thankful for all things in the middle of our personal life-storms? We were talking with a good friend last week about how easy it is to pray, keep encouraged and have hope for our future when life is going well and how difficult that all is when we are down and discouraged. When our circumstances have plunged us into the pit of despair, it can seem like there’s nothing we can be thankful for now or ever again. We may find ourselves desperately searching for something good to hang on to, but positive thoughts are elusive and gratitude is beyond our grasp. And, that’s why we need a rescue list.
If my computer crashes, I have a “rescue disk” that I can use to reboot my computer and bring it back to life. If my day crashes, my “rescue list” will bring it back to life. I read those things which make me happy and a positive perspective will be restored; my thankfulness will be re-booted. I will be reminded of how good life really is and how much hope I have as a Christian believer. I am reminded that no matter what circumstances I find myself in at the moment, as the hymn goes: “All is well with my soul.” I’m sharing my list with you in the hope you will be inspired to make your own rescue list that will lift you out of the storms of life, fill your heart with gratitude to a gracious God and restore peace to your soul.

This list is very personal but I wanted you to see what I’m talking about. For the past six years it’s lived at the very front of my Bible so that I always know where it is and can quickly find it. These are just some of the things for which I am most thankful. Some may sound spiritual to you and some you may think are just plain silly, but they all bring a smile to my face when I read these.

I would encourage you to make your own “rescue list.” Make it personal and don’t worry if it’s serious or silly. Write down those things that you are most thankful for right now. What brings a smile to your face? What brings joy to your heart? Write those down; tuck the list in your Bible until you need it. The friend I mentioned has a sign in her kitchen that says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” When your life turns sour, reflecting with gratitude upon the things in your list that bring joy to your life will be the sweetener for your “lemonade.”

No comments:

Post a Comment