• Jill Jarrell Newsome

There Is Always Something To Be Thankful For

It seems there is so much hurt around me right now. Every one I know has a story from the hurricane. When we ride around it is disturbing to see all of the devastation. There are trees and debris stacked in front of homes some times so high you cannot see the home. The debris has all turned brown and is dead. The worst is seeing a family's belongings lying beside the road. Everything they own waiting for trash pick up.

It would be easy to get caught up in these negative scenarios. I know so many people who are depressed right now. I am not making light of what has happened. It is a tragedy! But I am saying we can turn our attitudes around. We have to look for the blessings. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for!

We can be thankful that things are not as bad as they could have been. It could have been a category 4 or 5! It is amazing that it hit as a 1 and ended up a tropical storm. Communities came together. Neighbors came together. Friends came together. Families came together. Our church has been packed every Sunday since with people searching for hope. We are forced to put things in perspective and put our priorities in order. One of the linemen who ate dinner at our church made the comment that he did not go to church but if this is what it was about he was going to start going! That is just one story! One of my favorite pictures during the hurricane was the prayer circle on Wrightsville Beach! So many wonderful things going on!

If you are watching the news and all you see is devastation and hear devastating stories - turn it off. Get out your Bible and read. Romans 12: 2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." If you are feeling burdened go to Scripture. It will renew your mind! Proverbs 18: 10, "The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Listen to praise and worship music whether at home or in the car.

When we have Jesus in our hearts we live our lives in joy. No matter the situation we have an all knowing that we are going to be alright. We begin to trust God to use these situations to bring good to those who love Him. Romans 8: 28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Once we recognize this we are able to see the blessings.

Hebrews 4: 12, "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." If we go to Scripture it can change our thoughts from negative to positive. It can transform the attitudes of our heart!

Use this time to go and help those in need. This is the day the Lord has made and it is holy to Him. He is your strength and He wants you to do good today. You will be blessed by this. Nehemiah 8: 10, "Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Let God use these hard times to help you grow closer to Him. Ephesians 1: 18, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people," Do not forget to thank Him for the hard times because that is when we are growing. Psalm 9: 1,"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."

What we believe deep down in our hearts is what determines how we behave, speak, live, and respond to one another. Matthew 6: 21, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."