A Jonah day can blind. Even when God is calling, the pull of a dark room or the lowest part of a ship drapes comfort like a cave of warm blankets.
Sometimes, when the days gets too noisy, when the fights and whines of my kids cut into every nerve, I step into the bathroom and scream into my soft green towel. I can hide there for a moment, basking in the dampening cotton, hiding my frustration in the layers of its stitches.
Our country sits on raw nerves as well. The struggle for freedom has always been present, but the moment we gained the world, our leaders stepped over the edge into the abyss. The depths of this hole swirls full of selfishness, greed, void of anything good or generous. The news stations spout the echoes from this place, filling our homes with tendrils of darkness.
But when the days drag and hiding from the storm only gets us thrown overboard, we find ourselves staring into the eyes of a monster, and we realize in that single breath before it swallows us whole, we should have never sought the dark. There is only a moment of peace before we find ourselves in the depths of its belly.
The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. Jonah 2: 5-7 KJV
So my kids and I get this board and glue feathers and focus on the blessings. We write and draw our thanks, and one by one, we remember the goodness.
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. Jonah 2: 9
I don’t want to stare into green cotton. I choose to see through the lens of thanks, to do my part to show a modern Nineveh that the Son is shining on them.
He takes a nation blind and blankets them in grace.
So the people of Nineveh believed in God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. Jonah 3:5
Never stop giving thanks, even when the shadowed corner of a ship calls you.
To give thanks releases his blessings.
To see gratitude is a beautiful choice.
And it is a choice.
For further reading on finding joy and thanksgiving, I recommend One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.