This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
–Psalm 118:24

We’ve just finished up the month of November, when there is a lot of emphasis put on gratitude. But gratitude should not be a once-a-year thing, or even a one entire month a year thing (though if you have to start somewhere, you might as well start the habit there). We should have gratitude not just every day, but for every day.

This is easy when you wake up and the sky is blue and the sun is shining, and the birds are twittering outside your window. It’s easy when you have no pain, when you have plenty of money to get through the month.

It’s not so easy when life looks gray, whether because of cancer, the death of a loved one, or any other hard circumstance. It’s not easy when getting out of bed is a struggle.

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
–Psalm 3:3-5

This psalm was likely written by David while running from his third son Absolom, who had incited the people to rebellion against David so that he himself could replace David as king. Imagine the betrayal and hurt David must have felt.

Yet even in that time of darkness, he could sing praises to God and acknowledge even the fact that he woke up in the morning was a gift from God. Perhaps it seemed especially precious because he knew that Absolom’s men were pursuing him, but the Lord guards and protects us in invisible as well as visible ways all the time.

I wake up each morning because I didn’t die in a car accident when I was nineteen. Emergency medical responders were nearby at just the right time. My dad wakes up because he’s been preserved by medical technology through two heart attacks. These are visible ways God has saved us, but what about the ones we wDSC_0419_2ill never see, like the delays or wrong turns that may keep an accident from happening? God’s providential care truly gives us the gift of each day.

Each day is a new opportunity for us: opportunity to repent of things that distance us from God, and opportunity to bring others closer to God. Each day we can be a light by our example, perhaps especially when times are hard, because a light shows up best in the darkness. Who knows, perhaps by our light God may use us to help someone that we don’t even realize needs it.

“…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;”
–Ephesians 5:20

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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