Cody's Corner: Take care of yourself during the holiday season
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we read: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” “Brace yourselves.”
What do you think of when you hear that phrase? It is said a lot in movies, usually when a ship of some sort is fixing to hit something.
You know a collision is about to happen, and you hope the people on the ship heed the advice; if they don’t, they are going to be tossed around like rag dolls.
If they heed the call, it will not be as bad for them when the crash occurs.
As the holidays descend upon us, I will say, “Brace yourselves.” For what? A great many things.
Your mental and physical energy will be running on fumes sometimes, if not many times, over the next couple of months.
You may have to deal with family members who will test the limits of your patience. Some family members will have something to say about the food you prepared, and you will have to bite your tongue and ask God to bless their hearts. You will probably be operating on little sleep for a lengthy period of time, which leads to irritability and being overly sensitive at times.
What does this have to do with thankfulness?
As the beginning of this column states, we need to be thankful in all circumstances.
Does that really mean all? Yes. Why? Because it fixes our perspective and reminds us God expects different responses and reactions from His children.
It also reminds us of Jesus. What are we to be thankful for when all the family visits? When the house is overwhelmed? When some kid flushes a new toy down the toilet, plugging it up, and we must pay overtime for a plumber to fix the issue? At least we have a family to celebrate with.
Why should we be thankful when we do so much for others, yet nobody thanks us for all our hard work? Because then we remember that only one leper out of 10 came and thanked Jesus for heal-ing them. We could learn what it feels like to be God sometimes.
Think of how many things He does for us that we take for granted or never thank Him for. Does it really mean all circumstances? Because what if … The short answer: yes. No matter the “what if.” You might be saying, “But Cody, my job stinks and money is tight right now.”
Praise the Lord that you have a job, and if you really hate it, try to find a new one. In our country right now, we have plenty of jobs and not enough people who want to work.
You might also say, “But Cody, you do not know what I have been through. If you did, you would know I have nothing to be thankful for.” First, I know you are alive and breathing. Second, I will empathize with your situation and ask you to look up any of these pastors on this page and talk to them. It will help. You can either try to fight your battles alone or you can get someone to help you live with whatever you have been through. And then you will be thankful you did. Thirdly, I would ask you to look up Hebrews 4:15-16. Jesus is able to empathize with us in any situation.
This also allows us to come before the throne of God with confidence that we will receive mercy and grace from Him to help us in our time of need. That is something to be thankful for! And you might say, “But Cody, I just lost a loved one.
How can I be thankful in that circumstance?” At least you had them for the time you did.
We can have a thankful perspective that will change us into more positive, humble and realistic people. If not, we can be overwhelmed with everything in life; we can let weariness, bitterness and other negative roots choke out the joy or thankfulness we might have that would truly change our witness to the world. Some people see only insurmountable problems in life, and they never even try to be the little engine that could.
These are usually the negative-minded people who come up with excuses for why they will not even try to trust God, follow Him, or go to Him in their hour of need.
These people also usually blame everyone and everything in their life for why they are where they are, without realizing there could be a different outcome if they changed their attitude, perspective or work ethic.
Other people do not ever really see insurmountable problems – only challenges that will be overcome. They do not give in or give up; they find a solution to fix the problem, no matter how dire the situation looks. I learned this on the farm. It was never a question of if the farm implement could be fixed; it was just a question of how we were going to fix it. I hope you can take that mindset into the holidays and have an attitude of thankfulness in all circumstances.
It will change your life, your witness and your future if you do. What kind of person do you want your family to remember you as? The positive and thankful one in all circumstances – or the one who was always negative and unthankful in all circumstances? I know which one I would want to spend the holidays with.
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