Have you observed when night changes to day?
Darkness fills everywhere and then ever-so-slowly there begins a hint of difference. A little light begins to seep in driving back the much larger but helpless wings of darkness. Inexorable exchange. Shapes become visible but are colorless. When night actually ends is hard to pinpoint, but sure and steady, comes the dawn.
If you were to define ‘change,’ what would you say? The exchange of one thing for another? To make or become different? Change is a massive field of study in leadership, business, education, technology, counseling, and the list goes on. That is simply because due to the constant motion in our minds, bodies, lives, societies, and the cosmos, nothing is ever the same.
Attitudes Toward Change
Youth tend to love change; that’s why they often start revolutions, movements, and new paradigms. Older folks tend to fear and avoid change because it requires so much energy to remember the changes, adjust to new people, and learn new patterns.
The old timers know much better what the old creature called “time” does – when an event or conversation passes from the present into the past, time freezes it so that it can’t change. This causes many people to regret the past, and just as many to have anxiety about the future.
But, is it really true that time freezes the past? Or is thankfulness a tool that transcends time to change memories, change the present, and even influence my future?
Gratitude Changes the Present
Myriad things in this life promise to change things for the better – that’s what advertisements are all about. But those products can only change possessions and circumstances that surround you; they are expensive and they grow old.
Gratitude doesn’t take money, family connections, or a fancy education to use it. It is put into play one little choice at a time, and it can change your past, your present, and your future.
“No amount of regret changes the past.
No amount of anxiety changes the future.
Any amount of gratitude changes the present.”
There is so much hope in the thought that gratitude changes things. It changes the way we view our present circumstances. We can jump the track of anxiety and just start down the track of gratitude. We can give thanks right now for what we have right now.
Gratitude Changes the Past
Our Creator, Who knows us better that we know ourselves, has shown us how we are to handle regrets of the past. “Every saint has a past; every sinner has a future.” If we need to ask forgiveness, He can help us through that process. The 7 A’s of Confession is a fantastic resource to work through things.
Be thankful that your past is exactly that – your past. Be thankful that you feel regret instead of glorying in your past darkness. Be thankful for grace that pulled you out of the miry clay. You have changed with God’s help, and you can be thankful that He who began that work in you will not stop (Phil. 1:6). You may be wounded and damaged … and therefore fully usable because our God specializes in broken things. There is nothing too hard for the Lord, including helping you put your past in its proper place.
Gratitude Changes The Future
If you are consumed with anxiety about your future, come to Him who engineered it and holds it and says it’s a perfect part of a much bigger story. Philippians 4:6-7 shows how we can pour out our anxieties before Him and immerse them with thanksgiving, leaving Him to work as He wills, and He promises this supernatural peace to come and guard us emotionally and intellectually.
Gratitude doesn’t just change the present, it changes the way we view the past and the future. Engage change! Download grace and strength from the Lord to think thanks about every circumstance in your life and express that thankfulness orally or in a written form.
David taught our family a chorus that he had learned when growing up called: “From glory to glory He’s changing me.” It takes 2 Corinthians 3:18 and puts it to music. As I engage gratitude, God changes me. He changes my view of the present, He changes the way I process my past, He changes the way I look to the future. He changes ME to be more like His precious Son, the Lord Jesus.
Let gratitude change you!