Joyful, Praying and Thankful

Holding Glasses over Bible

I don’t know how many times I have read a passage of scripture, but didn’t really stop and think how to apply it to my life or make it personal. That is one of the reasons I loved Melissa’s 48-hour challenge this week in the Let.It.Go. study.

For those that don’t know about the challenge, she had us take this week’s reflection verses (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and not only personalize it, but took it a step farther by challenging us to be intentional during that 48-hour time period to be joyful, praying and thankful.

I would like you to take a moment a read the following passage of scripture and insert your name in the blanks:

“__________, always be joyful. ________, never stop praying. _______, be thankful in all circumstances. _______, this is God’s will for you. ________ belongs to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT).

Isn’t that powerful? Simply by placing my name in the passage, it leapt off the page. It was no longer just words written years ago. It was personal. I decided to take the challenge.

At this point, I am only halfway through the 48-hour time period, but I have already witnessed a difference.

Yesterday morning I woke up extremely early (2:30 am) and had my quiet time. I read through the challenge and prayed over it. I thought I was ready for the day. I didn’t realize my joy would be tested quite so early.

Ethan, our middle son, came upstairs with his glasses in his hands in two pieces – broken on the piece across the nose – right in half. This is not the first time (or probably the last) that Ethan has broken his glasses. However, this time was different because my response was different. I decided in the moment to be joyful that he had a spare pair, pray that a replacement pair would arrive quickly and thankful it wasn’t something more serious.

Ethan noticed the difference. When his older brother, Devin, came upstairs Ethan was really quiet, so Devin asked what was wrong. Ethan said, “Mom’s mad because I broke my glasses.” I looked up at him and immediately told him that I wasn’t mad, not even upset. I was glad he had another pair and we would just have to get the other pair replaced. His countenance changed.

It was in that moment that I realized how much this study has impacted our home. When I signed up for the study, I didn’t realize how many things I needed to let go. I have learned so much and my family is reaping the benefits.

Our home may not be the picture of perfection on the inside, but it is filled with peace and love, which far outweigh the perception of perfection.

I challenge you today to be joyful, praying and thankful. How will being intentional about this change your life and those around you?