A Grateful Heart Conquers Dread and Yes…Even Fear!
I am bone tired this morning. My sleep was broken, as I was alone and don’t sleep as well. Have you noticed that coping immediately becomes a bigger battle when you are tired?
If you sleep well but you don’t go to bed early enough to get the number of hours you need…your fear and dread are going to be magnified. It’s a fact. But it is a fact that we very often ignore. We think, somehow, that we are the exception.
You aren’t…I am not…the exception. Do you want your coping skills to go up…your joy to increase? Take on the discipline of sleeping 7.5 hours a night. Then…compare how you feel emotionally and physically to how you felt when you were more consistently sleep deprived.
Then…what about the other things that cannot be neglected in order to keep us strong physically and emotionally? Yes…exercise. But what about spiritual strength…what are you doing daily to strengthen yourself spiritually?
How big is your struggle with dread? I am not talking about fear here…though it often follows dread. I am talking about “simple” dread. Do you dread the cleaning you need to do today? Do you dread driving your kids or a parent to a doctor’s appointment? What about your hair appointment? What about the lunch you have with someone today? How much of your life is being wasted in dread? You may not say it aloud. Maybe you don’t even recognize how much time you spend dreading.
Take a “dread check”.
One way to know is…what is coming out of your mouth? But even if you aren’t expressing aloud your dread…pay attention! This morning, what are you dreading instead of anticipating?
If God is for us…why do we dread? If He promises to go before us, and beside us…why do we fail to lean into the challenges of our day or week? If we believe He orders our days, why do we dread?
Let’s look at one key to conquering dread (and yes…fear).
Think of what you are dreading today…pray and thank God for something about it. Are you dreading getting up and getting the kids ready? Thank God that they are all healthy and you can get them ready and take them to school. If you are dreading a business dinner with your husband…thank God that he wants you to be with him. Thank God that you can be with him! Dreading grocery shopping? Thank him that you have the money to buy groceries!
Then…go forward with those thankful thoughts!
What if there is something to truly dread, like an upsetting doctor’s visit or a child leaving home under strained circumstances? Pray, of course…ask God for what it is you need. Then…thank Him for the portion of your circumstances where you see Him working or simply that you can…pray and ask!
Developing a grateful heart takes care of so much. A grateful heart pleases the heart of God. It builds momentum toward being more thankful. A grateful heart begins to take care of dread…and the eventual fear it would become!
1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV)
34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.