I’m sitting here listening to a song that reminds me of how good God is.
Last summer, I fell in love with this song. I remember listening to “His Name” with my blue Beats as I glanced out the car window at Florida’s morning sky.
My family and I left Clearwater Beach early in an attempt to make it to church that evening in North Carolina. I was really excited to visit this church.
All went well until Savannah, Georgia. While traveling the middle lane of I-95 at a speed of 70 mph, a log came flying like a missile and busted through our windshield.
Despite the shock, my dad kept control of the car. The log only penetrated further as he applied the brakes. With no other options, he brought the car to a stop on a bridge. After calling the police, we waited for nearly 30 minutes. Meanwhile, vehicles zipped past us … 70 mph on a bridge.
To be honest, I was scared. The car, full of glass, sat alongside the tiny wall of a bridge. All it would’ve taken was a semi to hit us, and we would’ve all been dead.
The police finally appeared, and we were escorted to the nearest exit. Once we got to Hardees, my sister and I stepped out of a police car. My dad slowly drove our car by police escort, so there it sat in the Hardees’ parking lot.
With no other option, we stayed in Hardees for quite a while. I went to the restroom, checked myself for glass shards, put my knees on the filthy floor, and worshiped God.
I was so full of gratitude. The log was aimed right at my dad. Had our car been two feet ahead of where it was, the log would’ve hit my dad. Remember, we were traveling 70 mph in the middle lane of an interstate. We were literally a second away from death.
Even though glass landed on us, all six passengers escaped the incident injury-free. I was so full of gratitude, but I could’ve easily been disappointed.
Like I said, we were on our way to a church. It may sound strange, but this was a huge deal to me. In fact, it would’ve been the highlight of my vacation. Obviously, it didn’t happen. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t disappointed. Why? Because I was so full of gratitude.
Gratitude kills disappointment. That’s my message. It’s simple. But we often forget.
I’ve lived long enough to learn that disappointment comes from unmet expectations. When I expect something, I create a pleasing image in my brain about a future experience. When that experience doesn’t come true, I often become disappointed.
But on July 29, 2017 — a year ago this Sunday — I wasn’t disappointed by my unmet expectation. Even though I didn’t get to visit the church, my family was alive and well.
I was so full of gratitude, and gratitude kills disappointment.
The next time you have an opportunity to be disappointed, choose gratitude instead. The next time you’re tempted to be disappointed, make an alphabetical list of things you’re grateful for.
That’s what I just did. For the letter “B,” I wrote “Bible.” For the letter “M,” I wrote “music.” It made me think. Especially for the letters “X” and “Z” if you know what I mean!
You know, the Bible says, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Ps. 34:3 KJV). The Bible says to magnify God, but how often do we magnify our disappointments instead?
As I sat in Hardees, I decided to magnify my God. I didn’t magnify my unmet expectation. Disappointment had no room in my head. There was no capacity. I was way too full of gratitude.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5 KJV).
So when you’re tempted to dwell on disappointment, find something to be thankful for. One way we can magnify the LORD is through gratitude. When you fill your thoughts with gratitude, disappointment can’t fit.
Gratitude kills disappointment.
Isaiah Pauley is a 2018 graduate of Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.