Give me an undivided heart to revere your name. Psalm 86:11
Do not get carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. Hebrews 13:9
There is and always has been much in the world around us to keep us from focusing on God and all that is done for us each day as we follow the path God has set before each one of us. God was very specific in Hebrews, Chapter 13 in how we should live. Those words directed to God's people so long ago continue to be relevant today. Verse 6 states, "So we can say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?'"
Gratitude and joy sustain us in hard times. If we name the anxieties in our hearts and turn them over to God, we can focus our eyes on Jesus and disregard the words and distractions of this world.
If, each day, we can focus on being grateful for the abundant gifts in our lives, we create joy in our lives. This is because gratitude is the engine that creates joy for each of us.
Of course, there will be stresses for everyone. Today I saw a woman I will call Barb using a walker. She came around the corner in the physical therapy center where I  was. She smiled and said hello to me. Within a moment or two the therapist found a wheelchair for Barb. It turned out that Barb was in such distress that she could not tolerate physical therapy today, nor could she stand any longer, even with her walker to aid her. However, she still smiled and thanked the therapist who was with her. Her attitude of gratitude amazed me. When I told Barb that it amazed me that she could smile when she was in such obvious pain she told me that she is due for her fourth joint replacement surgery. Wow! But her smile needed no replacement nor had it been dimmed by her physical torments.  
Each day as we thank God for the things he has done for us, we know that we can turn our difficulties over to him also. He loves each one of us unconditionally and has given us the gift of life.
Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Thank you for being there when we get distracted and neglect to come straight to your word. Help us to always focus on you and to not get distracted by the words and ways of this world. Continue to give hope to all of the Barbs in your realm who desperately need your light in their lives. Guide us to always walk in the way you would have us to go. Amen.
Florence Smallfield