I was looking back through my journal from over the past couple of months, and I found this line that I had written after reading Psalm 111 through 118–it simply said this:
Gratitude changes the narrative.
Obviously, as I was writing that a month ago, I wasn’t thinking of how unbelievably quickly the world would change in the four following weeks, but here we are. Gratitude changes the narrative – gratitude changes the narrative because instead of constantly sitting in fear and uncertainty, we begin to allow ourselves to be marked by the understanding that we are not these great untouchable beings, but we are sitting in the Mercy and Grace of a God who is overwhelmingly Good toward us. And our weakness, instead of being transformed into fear, is transformed into glory and is reflective of the God-Work in our lives.
We begin to see all of the places where we thought there was no Hope begin to sprout with Good Things.
And in all the places where there are dry bones and hopelessness and fear and desert wastelands, we begin to see Rivers flowing and God Creating these path-lands through the wilderness.
In Gratitude, we begin to lay down our belief that “I am in control of everything” because Gratitude requires pointing blame at someone for giving a Good Thing, and very rarely can we point the finger at ourselves for all the Good that we can see around us.
My mom has been having us Gather every day as a family, as were stuck inside and bored and tired and uncertain of what the next few weeks are going to look like, and she has each of us say something we’re Grateful for. She writes each of our Thankfuls down in her journal because, as she said, she wants to be able to look back on this time in our lives and have a book full of things that we were Grateful for as we walked through the chaos along with the rest of the world—a Reminder of the Peace and Goodness of God.
Because there is a Greater Story being written. This isn’t the end; this isn’t the beginning; this isn’t confined or contained as the only Story that our lives are going to be — this is part of a Huge Eternal Beautiful Perfect Thing being written by a Beautiful Perfect God who is Beautifully, Perfectly in love with us and Promises All Final Good to Those Who Love Him.
And as we feel out of control, because we are, would we be so steeped in Thankfulness toward God that He has even allowed us to exist at all. And would we be reminded, in every moment moving forward, to choose Gratitude over fear. What would it look like to take this thing that the enemy is trying to destroy us with in fear and turn it into a Revolution of Thankfulness?
“For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 116:8-9)