Guest Author - Deanna Joseph
1 John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and we are purified.
In every moment we are given the opportunity to make the right choices. With each chance meeting and encounter we are given the opportunity to make someone’s day, or make them wish they’d never run into us! We can see the good in troubling situations and grow, or we can choose to be a victim. We can be happy or sad – the choice is (really) ours!
You may be asking “how on earth can I make the choice to be happy when things are falling apart around me?” Well, I didn’t say that walking in the light was easy. Again, it’s a choice we have to make every moment. But there are actually three things that can be so enormously helpful, you won’t believe how simple it can be.
When we give thanks we actually elevate our feelings. Each morning when I get up I write down ten things I am grateful for in my gratitude journal. Even if I am grumpy when I start listing things I’m grateful for, I always feel better. Really! If you can’t find something you are grateful for, start with the basics: Are you happy for indoor plumbing? Are you happy you don’t have a pack of wild dogs chasing you? I know, it sounds ridiculous, but sometimes we have to start off that way when it’s really difficult for us to find something to appreciate. So find something and then go from there.
The wonderful benefit of expressing appreciation is that as it elevates our feelings, things flow better for us. Have you ever noticed that when you are in a good mood, and working on a big project, things flow better? Have you noticed when you are in a terrible mood nothing seems to go right? Being grateful causes things to flow better for us.
There are a thousand and one ways that we separate ourselves from each other. We believe that only our faction of religion is the correct one, or we believe that only our political party knows how to fix the country. We are PC people or MAC people, or we are chocolate versus vanilla.
Why do we do this?? The answer is simple! Fear. We need to make others wrong so that we can be right. This is an act of the ego. The ego lives in fear and separation.
How do you know if you are coming from the ego or not? Simple, the next time you find yourself in an argument where you completely believe that you are 100 percent right, ask yourself if you’d rather be right or happy? If you choose to be happy, and let the other person win the argument, you are coming from a place of love.
When we can really be at peace and love ourselves the voice of the ego gets quiet. But sometimes this can be difficult. Expressing gratitude is the first step – when we are grateful and happy the ego is at a loss. It is at this point we can take the next step, and this is to heal separation. And all we have to do is find our similarities. No matter what, we have something in common with all other individuals, no matter their religion, political affiliation or race. Basically we want to be loved and accepted. We want to give love. And from that starting point we find more commonalities which leads to healing the separation.
Faith as Expectation
I remember reading a story of a man who got very sick. He went to the hospital, and the doctors told him he had a very rare form of cancer and that he had about three weeks to live. He should go home and get his affairs in order. So he went home, got his affairs in order and died within three weeks time. Later there was an autopsy as this was a teaching hospital, and many students were going to get a rare opportunity to see how this rare form of cancer spread throughout the body. Only when this man was opened up it was found that he didn’t have one single cancer cell!
Did this man have faith? Absolutely. He had faith in his doctor’s incorrect diagnosis.
Faith is not something we have to get more of. It’s something we already have, we just have to understand where we are expressing it? Faith is our expectancy. The man in the story expected to die; that’s where his faith was.
When Jesus performed a miracle he first gave thanks to God for hearing his prayers. He said “You always hear my prayers.”
He never said, during all the miracles he performed, “man, I hope this works!”
He expressed gratitude and then expected everything to go the way it was supposed to. He never worried, and in fact, never took credit for any miracle, but instead said that it was his Father who performed the miracle. His faith was that things would work out.
By first expressing appreciation we can move into a place where our expectancy, our faith, is on things working out for the best all the time.
Walking in Light
When we express appreciation, heal separation and remember that faith is our expectation, we walk in the light, and we can make a dramatic difference in how we live our lives, and how we move through each experience. Remember it is God’s great pleasure to give us the Kingdom, and we accept this gift by walking in the Light.