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#10 The Final Tip

This is day ten of this series, Thriving in Isolation. I’ve given nine of my best, most personally effective tips for thriving in isolation and social distancing. I have one more tip. It is undoubtedly the easiest to overlook and the easiest to employ. It has the power to turn a difficult circumstance into something beautiful. It has the power to transform your mind and the minds of the people around you. It changes the way you see the past, the present and the future. It alters how you respond to conversations, struggles, challenges, fun, times of want and times of abundance. It will shift your perspectives and your countenance. This one tip, built into the framework of your life can help eliminate worry and anxiety, reduce depression, minimize pain, make you more productive, more fun to be around and genuinely happier! This sounds too good to be true, right? But, it isn’t.

Centuries ago an old wise man named Paul wrote a letter to a group of Christians in a city called Thessalonica. His letter is recorded in the Bible. In the letter, Pauls tells the people this. “In everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18

Here is my final tip. Give thanks.

Difficult times will cause people to think and consider why bad things happen. Why is this happening to me? Does God care? And so on. These are good questions with answers. Pursue the questions. Read your Bible. Ask God to help you understand these difficult things more fully. He is true and faithful. I trust Him to be able to handle these questions for you. In the end you will find, as I have, that the answers lie in the rock solid, unchanging, all powerful, and good character of God. Search to the end, and you will find Him to be good. You will also find all things to be valuable. All things are worth giving thanks for. When you give thanks for all things, the big, the small and everything in between with relentless persistence, you begin to see the benefits I have already mentioned and more.

Our family has gone through various seasons and changing rhythms of giving thanks. When the kids were small we had an evening Bible time. We kept what we called a thankfulness journal. It it we recorded the date and our names. My husband would ask us one at a time to name a few things we were thankful in that day. It gave us the time and focus to reflect on the day. It reminded us of good things that had happened. It helped us to remember them, share them with one another and record them. Then we would simply pray and thank God for everything we had recorded. The kids said things like toy trains, our cat, swimming, sunshine, letters from the grandparents and friends. It gave my husband and I the moment of reflection we needed to remember people we interacted with that day. We recalled the circumstances we had been too busy in the moment to process. We then recognized their value. And we gave thanks.

It trained us to begin to see the value of hard things. We learned to trust the hand of God in difficult circumstances because, we understood later the greater good that came from the circumstances. Our kids began to learn to give thanks for hard things too and, watch for how God would redeem the hard and turn them in into something really good.

So above all, in any way you can, in every moment, in all circumstances, out loud and written down, recalled and presently recognized, give thanks. A virus that sweeps the world is certainly hard. Death is an enemy. Pain hurts. Giving thanks does not eliminate these realities nor does it turn a blind eye to them. But in the middle of it all, what can you find that is worthy of gratitude. Learn to look for them. Train yourself to see. Develop a lifelong, life-giving habit of giving thanks in all things.

I pray you will see what God has placed in your life to bless your soul.


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