I had been in awe of the fact that I wasn't dreading it--I tend to dread January in general. The little man, however, had been dreading it and had worked himself into a bit of a state. The first hour was filled with, "I can't...too hard...hate school...stupid..."
I sent him outside for a while to find his good attitude.
Twenty minutes later he hadn't returned. I found him in the doghouse. Literally. Unfortunately, he hadn't found his good attitude in there.
I feel his pain. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we just don't want to accept. There's got to be some way out. We dread and stew and make ourselves miserable, but there's no escape.
There is, however, a way through.
I explained to my son that when we can't find a way out, thanksgiving will help us find a way through. I encouraged him to find one thing about school for which he was thankful. Told him that thanksgiving is like kryptonite to the enemies of discouragement and despair. All the while I know that I'm speaking to myself too.
It took him a while to come up with something. It was even harder to say it--as though giving thanks would be some sort of surrender. And it is. It involves acknowledging that we are not the master of our universe. But, oh, what a glorious thing happens when we place our trust in the Gentle Shepherd!
When we give thanks we invite His presence into our difficult circumstances.
He could only find one thing he was thankful for, but it changed everything. Hope entered the room.
"Thank God no matter what happens.
This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live."
1Thessalonians 5:18 MSG