This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” — Psalm 118:24 (ESV).
When I saw the following post on a friend’s Facebook page, I had to share it with my readers:
A famous writer was in his study and compiled the following list:
1. Last year, my gallbladder was removed. I was in bed for a long time.
2. The same year I reached the age of 60 and had to leave my favorite job. I spent 30 years with this publishing company.
3. The same year my father died.
4. The same year my son failed his medical exam because he had a car accident. He was hospitalized with a cast on his leg for several days. The destruction of the car was a second loss.
His concluding statement: “Alas! It was a bad year!”
When the writer’s wife entered the room, she found her husband looking dejected and sad. She read what he had written, left the room, and came back with another piece of paper. The husband read her version of his account of the year’s events:
1. Last year I finally got rid of my gallbladder which had given me many years of pain.
2. I turned 60 with sound health and retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write with more focus and peace.
3. The same year my father died at the age of 95 without depending on anyone, without any critical conditions, and met his Creator.
4. The same year, God blessed my son with life. My car was destroyed, but my son was alive and without permanent disability.
She concluded: This year was an immense blessing.
The moral? It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. There is always, always something for which to be thankful. Our attitude is everything and the one thing we can control.
In a recent Our Daily Bread devotional, the author shared the story of Dr. Virginia Connally. In 1940, at the age of 27, she braved opposition and criticism to become the first female physician in Abilene, Texas. A few months before her 100th birthday in 2012, the Texas Medical Association presented her with its Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor a Texas physician can receive. Between 1940 and 2012, Dr. Connally embraced a passion for sharing the gospel message globally. During her many medical mission trips, she lived a life of service to God and to others—one day at a time.
Her pastor, Phil Christopher, said, “Every day for her is a gift.”
In a letter to her pastor, Dr. Connally wrote, “Every tour, trip, effort, I wonder if this will be my last and ultimate? Only God knows. And this is enough.”
What if we quit focusing on yesterday’s disappointments and tomorrow’s uncertainties and focused on God’s unmatchable gift of today? Wouldn’t our attitudes change?
When we embrace each day as a gift from God, we can’t help but have a positive attitude.