The gift that changed my life forever – Coral Bond

At the end of a particularly rough year where life had thrown us some of the toughest curve balls we had encountered to date as a family, I was given a book called ‘One Thousand Gifts’.  This book set me on a trajectory that has forever altered the way I think, see and do life.

The book set the reader a challenge to create a list of a 1,000 gifts they were thankful for…..the gifts had to be personal and could be anything from a beautiful sunset to a most precious possession.

And so it was I embarked on this challenge of creating my own list – a challenge that took longer to complete than I ever imagined and reshaped my heart & spirit in a way I could never have thought possible.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 states that Jesus’ will for us is to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’.  After the loss of a much loved family member that year, gone before his time, I was struggling to reconcile some of the biggest questions in life, let alone ‘give thanks’ in the midst of my heartache.  However, as I started to take this step of obedience and consider those things that I could be thankful for, He began to reveal the beauty that surrounded me in my everyday life inspite of my hurting soul.

Eucharisteo has become one of my favourite all time words, it’s one of those words that has caused me to marvel at God’s foresight and intricate attention to detail.

Eucharisteo is the Greek verb “to give thanks.”  But it’s in the breaking down of the word where the wonder unfolds. Eucharisteo  envelopes the Greek word for grace – Charis.  Studies also explain that the Greek word Chara is held within Eucharisteo as it is the derivative of Charis, Chara means joy.  And Eucharisteo also holds the Greek adverb “Eu” which means happiness, or to prosper.  So when we choose to give thanks this allows the beautiful grace of God to enter our life, which ultimately allows us to walk with a greater sense of joy, happiness & prosperity.

If you didn’t get the revelation of that statement can I encourage you to go back & read it again….it’s through our act of giving thanks in all circumstances that we open our lives to the grace of God which results in us living a life filled with joy & happiness.  And I can assure you that’s exactly what happened to me… I started to write my list a slow but steady transformation began to take place.  A fresh appreciation of the beauty in my world was created right before me…..much of it was discovering the beauty of what had always been there, but it was only when I started to thank God for these supposed ‘unimportant’ things that I realised the richness in them.  Simple things such as midnight swims with girlfriends, fresh growing herbs, morning cuddles in bed with the kids, beautiful roses from Mum’s garden, sitting around the outside fire with Cam & Ezra, spider webs brushing my face on early morning runs, rolling down sand dunes, blue winter skies, seeing a smile on my sister’s face……the list goes on & on.

God hasn’t promised us a life without disappointment, heartache and tough times….but He has provided us with a way to find joy in the midst of those circumstances. When we learn to give thanks not for all circumstances but in all circumstances there we will find true joy & happiness.  Can I encourage you to start writing your list today and I pray it will change your world as much as it did mine.

Coral Bond
Regional Pastor

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