LETTERS FROM THE MAN UPSTAIRS: You can win this fight tonight


Jenna bartlett

There is a lot of goodness in the world, and much to be hopeful for and thankful about.

Before I begin, I’d like to start with a *minuscule* list of all the things I’m thankful for:

  1. God
  2. my mom, dad, brothers, and dog
  3. all of my family and friends
  4. all dogs in general
  5. food on my table
  6. roof over my head
  7. happily married parents
  8. my comfy bed
  9. running
  10. sunshine
  11. Boston
  12. spongebob squarepants
  13. NYC
  14. throw blankets
  15. the ocean
  16. the mountains
  17. sweatshirts
  18. Ferris Bueller
  19. Christmas lights
  20. fall scented candles

I could go on, but I must get on with this article or we’ll be here until the next president is elected. Anyways, why am I telling you everything I am thankful for on this most thankful of holidays? No, it is not to brag or tell you how awesome my life is or anything, I want you to think about something. Yes, this is the VERY FIRST ARTICLE YOU ARE REQUIRED TO THINK. Ready? Grab some brain food and let’s get started.

I would first like you to get a sheet of paper—it could be lined paper, a notepad, a sticky note, whatever—and make three columns. On top of the first column, write, “thankful.” On the second column, write “fearless.” And on the third column, write “giving.” Now what in the world could all of these words mean? Please, hold onto your sweaters because it’s about to get real.

The first column is pretty self explanatory. You should write a list of things you are thankful for—whether that is your dog, the pizza you ate for lunch, your best friend sitting beside you, etc.—and continue until you can’t think of anything else. If there isn’t a whole lot going on in the first column, it’s okay. In the second column, write a list of things you wish could be better in your life—whether it’s something going on at home, you and your close friends had a disagreement, someone recently passed away in your life, etc.—and continue until nothing else comes to mind. If this list is quite small, great! If not, if you feel you’re filling up the entire page plus some of the back, it’s okay. In the last column titled “giving,” you are going to write a list of ways you can make your life better. I know, it sounds daunting, like what in the world can I do to fix some of the messed of situations in my life? This one might take a bit of thinking and it may take you some time, but I know you can do it. Try to start with some small things on the “fearless” column. How can you change something in that one to make it better from day to day? Is there something small you can do to fix things? You may not think there is anything you can do, but there is. Pray a little, and the answers will come.

So now, what do these words at the top of the columns actually mean and why did I have you do this? Well the first column is everything you are “thankful” for, while the second column establishes everything you are not “fearless” to change. And the third column represents how you are going to “give” to others and find out ways to connect with people to make situations in your life better. You still with me? Good, because we’re not done yet.

There is hope for bad situations, but there is so much goodness to be thankful for.

I want you to look long and hard at the list you have before you. Whether it took you a few minutes or a few hours to complete, I want you to take a look at it. Which column is the longest and which is the shortest? What kinds of things are you going to do to change things? I hope you see now that there is hope for bad situations, but there is so much goodness to be thankful for.

Life will beat you up. It beat Jesus up. It pinned Him against a cross and killed Him, in fact. But He rose again and He lives in Heaven watching over us. If Jesus survived that, you can surely survive whatever is going on in your life.

If you ever watch college football, then you probably have seen the promo that has the song from Thirty Seconds to Mars called “Walk on Water”. The song has the best chorus line ever that says, “Do you believe that you can win this fight tonight?” YES YOU CAN. YOU CAN WIN THIS FIGHT. I BELIEVE IN YOU. GOD BELIEVES IN YOU, MORE THAN ANYTHING.

Isaiah 41:10 — “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”