April 30 Devotional

By Pam Schiftic

“Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

What beautiful and comforting words. And yet…

When I drive to Publix, don my mask and walk to the back of the store only to discover there’s no toilet paper OR milk, I’m immediately frustrated.

How do I keep those inspiring words from Thessalonians in my head and heart not only during the irritating moments of our lives, but also the tragic ones?

It’s a tall order for sure. Over the years, but especially now, I’ve found that combining Thessalonians’ rejoicing, praying and giving thanks in a gratitude journal keeps me focused on life’s blessings. And so as we slog through this pandemic I’m looking for the blessings. Just for fun, I reread some of my old gratitude journal entries. Here are some things I have been grateful for over the years:

  1. Coffee in the car on the way to work
  2. Exercise
  3. Sherry’s phone call
  4. A new warm sweatshirt
  5. Cotton candy sunrise
  6. Sleep
  7. I have a job
  8. It’s Friday
  9. A good mammogram report
  10. A great husband
  11. Prayer on a stressful day
  12. Chocolate layer cake
  13. Sleeping with dogs
  14. Easter Sunday
  15. “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes
  16. Coke in a bottle…with peanuts
  17. Holding 9-week-old Tony
  18. Hugs
  19. Stars are out tonight
  20. Mother’s voice, Mothers’s smell

Need I go on? You get the idea. When your toilet paper runs low, rejoice, pray and give thanks!