All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].
Proverbs 15:15, AMP*
I’m reading Brenda Wood’s evocative book, The Pregnant Pause of Grief: the First Trimester of Widowhood, and most of her scripture quotes come from the Amplified Bible. This one hit me in a new way that I hadn’t seen in the versions I usually read.
It echoed what my husband had said only hours earlier: “You have the choice to enjoy each step of what you’re doing, or to let it make you miserable.” (Okay, I didn’t take notes… this is my paraphrase. But he’s a wise man.)
That, in turn, followed something God helped me see a few days earlier. I’m stepping into a writing opportunity that has me a bit scared. It’s also really exciting for me, but that day anxiety was following me around like the proverbial rain cloud. In the middle of the grocery store, I realized I had more choices than just the vegetables.
I could choose my attitude.
I was the only one choosing the anxiety-cloud heaviness. I could just as easily choose anticipation and a bit of glee. So I did. I let myself accept the good thing He wanted to give me, instead of letting fear turn it into a burden.
I guess for some of us, troubles aren’t the only things that test our faith and build endurance—gifts are, too.
God our Creator and our loving Parent, every good gift comes from You, and You are not the author of fear. Help us learn to bring our thoughts under Your rule and to cultivate joy and contentment whatever our circumstances. And when You give us a good gift, help us not be afraid to open it.