Thursday, December 10, 2015 

But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 

This has been a very difficult year for me physically and emotionally. I have been thrust into family responsibilities that I never thought I would be involved in at my age. I now get up to an early alarm clock in order to get out the door to a myriad of necessary appointments. I am often up during the night; this is a 24/7 responsibility. This part is actually easier than the emotional drain, the heartaches, and the loneliness that can be involved in this journey at times.

One day, with tears running down my cheeks, I cried aloud in the stillness of my home, “I cannot do this! I do not have the strength or the wisdom. I am not able to do this!” Never have I heard God’s voice so clearly. Though it was not audible, I heard every word in my mind: “No, you cannot do this, Anita, but I can. I have the strength and the wisdom, and my love and faithfulness are everlasting.” Each day as I continue on this path, I remember this experience and remind myself “God is with me, God is with me, God is with me.” Thank you God.

Gratitude is an integral part of my spiritual practice. I have found that whatever I am experiencing in my life as long as I remain in gratitude to God I can be at peace. When I forget gratitude I lose the peace. I have started to write some of God’s promises in my Gratitude Journal. These promises strengthen me as I write them down and again whenever I read them:

But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. Psalm 94:22 

For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; 

your faithfulness extends to the clouds. Psalm 57:10

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 

What a treasure we have in God’s words! May we always be thankful.

-Anita Ratliff

Prayer: Dear God, Our hearts fill with gratitude for your precious promises to always be with us. You are our rock and our strength. Amen.