As I looked longingly at the “all the things,” I realized that my sense of being in the doldrums and missing out was in danger of becoming chronic grumpiness. Couldn’t I find joy in any of the places where I was currently dwelling? I lifted my prayers to the Lord and cried out for Him to bring a change somehow. And in that shifting, there became a sense of something true that I WAS missing: thanksgiving. Could I seek to cultivate a joyous sense of thankfulness in my prayers?
And then a memory came to me. Into the middle of another dreary day, my adult son had texted me a cute “Grand-boy” story. I was all ears, eager to hear something cheerful for that day. He and his toddler son were looking at a Star Wars coloring book together when suddenly, little Grand-boy saw Luke Skywalker wearing his long billowing cloak, and he pointed proudly and said “Look, It’s Grandma!”
Oh, I laughed and laughed, and suddenly the sadness I had felt only moments before about this very thing–my need to wear baggy and loose-fitting clothes because of my sensitive fibro-skin—had now become a source of laughter. My Grandson’s memory of his skirted-Grandma had filled my heart with joy. What had made the difference? Could it be that a childlike memory had shifted my heart to a place of joyous thanksgiving?
In pondering this story again, my thoughts were reminded of the words from a devotional gathered many years ago:
We in this community have chosen to identify ourselves with the name “Chronic Joy.” And yet, we can still choose to take on a different “chronic mood” and stay fixed on those things that we have lost in this chronic illness pathway. And we have lost so much.
But what if, instead, we could ask the Lord to reveal what he has given to us? Is this precisely the place that Jesus wants us to seek (to pray) to cultivate a joyous sense of thankfulness in our moments and in our days?
We might find laughter bubbling up from a long-forgotten childlike heart, a thankful gift of chronic joy.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”Psalm 100:4 NIV
I would love to invite you to join me at the Chronic Joy website, where we have gathered four Scriptures and four prayers, one for each week of the month, to give us a beautiful opportunity. Will you join me in seeking to cultivate that joyous sense of thanksgiving?
Click here to read along, and to hear the audio blogs for this post and these prayers.
Thank you so much for all of your beautiful prayers for me this last month also. God has given me strength to be able to share these precious Prayer Prompts. But at the same time, He is continuing to call me to a slower pace here. I am hoping to be back the first week in December to share another Prayer Prompt and an update about His guidance with my words here at my blogging home.