Goodness in the Land of the Living

My sweet sister-in-law reminded me this morning that it’s November. She posted a precious message of thanks on Facebook, marking the first day of “The Great Thank-Off” where you share something you’re thankful for everyday leading up to Thanksgiving.

(When my sister-in-law asked her 2 year old what he was thankful for this morning he said, “Jesus… in my life” – does that not make you tear up or what?!)

The reminder this morning pierced me at a moment of UN-thankfulness. It’s been a long week with frustrations appearing at every corner. I’m tired and burnt out. At this moment, I’m sitting on the bus trying to squeeze in some thoughts on my long commute home. And I’m overwhelmed with the sense that everything I’ve been upset about is relatively trivial.

I think it goes without saying this week that there is probably someone having a harder day than you (likely trudging through the day with no power and no running water). But this is not about making us feel guilty because of our emotions and reactions to the problems we encounter every day. Guilt solves nothing.

What if we tried changing our focus?

I ran across this psalm on my commute into work today:

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

To be completely honest, I posted it in defiance of how I was feeling. For some reason, I haven’t really been able to see that goodness lately.

But I know it’s there. I just need to shift my focus.

I love the book of Psalms because it’s really a prayer book. I’m pretty sure every emotion I’ve felt can be found in the Psalms. Praise, joy, and thankfulness are just a page way from sorrow, anger, and fear. Doesn’t life feel like that?

Instead of dwelling on everything that’s going wrong (and trust me, I know how tempting it is to want to wallow in the bad), I’d love to challenge you to focus on what’s going right this month.

It’s not that we shouldn’t acknowledge when we feel angry, frustrated or fearful – we are human and these are very real and natural emotions. But isn’t it too easy to fall into a rut of taking things for granted and focusing on what’s wrong in our lives?

This November, I’m committing to sharing something I’m thankful for and choosing a Psalm of celebration, joy or worship for each day. I want to acknowledge that I am seeing the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Let’s focus on the good and be thankful. Join me?

By the way, I’m thankful this November 1st for all the thankfulness I’ve already seen via social media today. It really lifts the heart to read what has blessed someone else. Thank YOU!

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