I have been looking for a job for over six weeks now. As many likely can attest, six weeks of job searching is equivalent to six weeks of anxiety, repeated rejection, self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, impatience, frustration, and a whole host of other things I could list. I thought it was about time I started focussing on the positives a bit more habitually. It’s easy to get caught up in thoughts like,
“What happens next?”
“Why isn’t this working?”
“I’m not good enough.”
“How can I improve?”
“Am I ever going to be successful?”
But every time I voice those thoughts, I am met with the same response.
“You’ve just gotta keep plugging away.”
Yes, that’s all there is to do, and in the meantime, I could probably boost my productivity in that endeavor with a more positive, more God-centered outlook.
To that end, I intend to use this November, as many do, as an opportunity for me to reflect on the things for which I am thankful, or, as Paul puts it:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
Tonight, I’m thinking about how thankful I am for the opportunity to be thankful. No matter how dark the day, I always have the opportunity to turn my thoughts to these things, these noble, lovely things, illuminated in the shadows by the light of Christ. There could be any number of anxieties, terrors, tragedies, and yet Jesus remains, and every good and perfect gift is from his hand, and meant to turn me to him.
Praise Jesus that even when there are storms, there is the rush of rain to lull me to sleep, and the flash of lightening to dazzle my eyes. Praise him that even in the midst of fire, there is the brilliant color and the exhilarating dance of flames. Praise him that when I am jobless, I have the time to be with my guide dog, brother, and roomies, work on creative projects, explore my city, try new hobbies, study God’s word, and be grateful for it all.
And so here begins a journey of gratitude in a time of trial. Wherever you are in life, I hope it will prove encouraging for both of us.