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Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared.

For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality.

My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath. Wild beats of my chest pounding faster on the car chase to the hospital, harder as the nurse injected her terrified frame with epinephrine, and incessantly louder as staff worked to regulate blood pressure and breathing.

Upon our arrival, before hurriedly handing her over to the doctor’s immediate care, I squeezed my girl close, and whispered, “God has you.” It was a reminding assurance, to my heart also, of the unconditional care that never stops watching over each one of his beloved children. I so desperately wanted the power of God’s mighty love to swallow all her trembling and fear. But vulnerably speaking, this solid truth proved hard for me to embrace and stand firm on.

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Later, leaning against her bedside, a drape of smothering laid thick over my being. I knew what I needed more than anything. Or I should say, who I needed to talk to more than anything. Yet, I couldn’t clear the clutter and heaviness in my head and heart enough to hardly think to pray.

But even still, God was there—always reaching for me. Then finding a sliver of an opening to my conscience in the wee, weary passing hours of my sleepless wait. Gracefully the faithful Lord drifted a discipline across my mind I had been practicing in the recent weeks . . . thankfulness.

Thankfulness in my fear. Thankfulness through my wrestle, my wait, my pain. Without a thought, as I stared at her now peaceful, slumbering eyes, I noted a mental list of “thanks.”

Thank you, almighty God . . . for bringing us here safely, for my daughter’s quick care, for all the right hands to help, for her stable breaths and steadying vitals, for the loving hand of my husband to hold while I wait, for Your strong arms that care for her better than I ever could, for Your presence that never leaves, Your love that never fails, Your hidden blessings everywhere that illuminate when I look for them. Thank you, precious Lord Jesus.

And something shifted within. Softened and lightened as I peered past the pain and into the blessings of God, ever-present.

Is there something that has you worried? A set of circumstances that loom with even a hint of unease and uncertainty? And have you considered anything in or around your mess that you could thank God for?

Here’s what I pray and believe will happen for you too as you shift your gaze to gratitude, you will see your difficulty differently. Your eyes will open wider to God’s gifts, provision, and love. You will find the pace of your pounding heart will slow. And peace will begin to swell.

I know God is always with us. I know his blessings are sprinkled in abundance all around us. And, I know sometimes it’s hard to remember when life fast forwards with waves of the unexpected.

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I’d like to lean into you today, like I did to my daughter, and say, “God has you.” I’d like to remind you He’ll never leave you. And, I would like to remind us both that praising Him in every situation provides a peace that surpasses understanding.

I know you long for this rich fruit of the spirit. We are all starved for God’s rich overwhelming peace. How wonderful it is that when we present our concerns with thanksgiving to the good Lord, He always has it to give.

Remember these words from God’s word . . . “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7, NIV).

Oh, praise Him, it’s true. Thankfulness expressed to God through the struggle and storm really will produce in your longing heart a sweet swelling of peace. How about that for something to be thankful for? Together, right now, let’s continue to pour out thanks to God as we pass through the valley that is indeed always overflowing with His many blessings.

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Keri Eichberger

Keri Eichberger lives just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband Mike and their five kids. Her own roller-coaster of life trials, redeemed by a relationship with the Lord, fueled her desire to help others discover and experience the fullness of life found in Jesus. After years of writing for an online audience, she became ordained through Southeast Christian Church, giving her life to full-time ministry. Keri is the author of “Win Over Worry,” and continues to follow her calling to bring faith-filled encouragement to others around the world through her social media influence, devotionals, and Faith Fueled podcast.

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