I love this quote by Lewis B. Smedes: “You and I were created for joy, and if we miss it, we miss the reason for our existence…If our joy is honest joy, it must somehow be congruous with human tragedy. This is the test of joy’s integrity: Is it compatible with pain?”
Have you ever had someone tell you, “Oh, just don’t worry about that!” It’s about as useful as a bent house key. Because the more I think “Oh just don’t worry about it” the more I’m worried.
The longer I am in clinical and Biblical practice, the more I am learning about the chemistry of the brain. Fascinating stuff. Did you know that Scientists have discovered that when we are actively blessing others or saying thanks to God for his many gifts to our lives, the neuron path to worry and fear is literally blocked in that part of our brain? It’s like we can’t be worried and grateful at the same time.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you and I could be known by others as one of the most grateful people they know? A person who primarily lives in gratitude? For me, that takes some intentional listening to what I’m thinking and what comes out of my mouth. Even better, what if that is how the Lord described us in our relationship to Him. We would be people, who on a regular basis simply pause to thank Him for all that He is and for allowing us to be His conveyers of joy to others.
I believe that gratitude is the remedy for a life that is driven by the bondage to worry. Read the following from Paul in the book of Philippians. It is beautiful.
“Summing it all up friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; the things to praise, not the things to curse….Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.” (Phillipians 4:8-9 MS)