Wednesday, November 26, 2014

in all things give thanks

I recently sat with a trusted counselor, sharing a hard circumstance our family is currently walking through. In the middle of his caring, empathetic response, he closed his eyes and simply prayed:

"Thank you, Lord. We thank You for this situation."

I had released our path to God many times. I had accepted that God's ways are not always so easily understood. I had accepted that what I wanted often does not line up with what He had planned. I had thanked Him for His goodness on the other side of the mountain that others had chosen to shove our way.

But I had forgotten to give thanks for the injustice, the difficulty, the complications we faced. In the middle of that prayer, I remembered.

If there is one trait that ought to be universally characteristic about Christians, it is gratitude.

Lord, forgive me for my short-sightedness.

How many times have I found that beauty from ashes is more than a relief? It is a great joy, indeed.

How often has the resurrected miracle outshone my ideas of what is right, what is just, what is good? Every. Single. Time.

No one wants to need the gift of perseverance. No one wants to understand forgiveness as a result of wrestling with  the pain of offense until their hands ache with a longing for heaven. No one wants to lose precious comforts so that they can receive a crown of heavenly peace.

And yet that is the story of God's ways here on earth. Those who love Him find their paths don't always make sense to our natural way of thinking. And once embraced,  His will is a delight to our souls. His ways are light and love and His government of our lives is full of a joy that springs forth from a foreign and glorious land we can only see with eyes of faith.

Whatever you carry today that is too heavy, too hard, too unjust, too burdensome, I am praying  this over it. Perhaps you would like to pray with me?

"Lord, thank you. In the midst of this great weariness; in the middle of the arduous battle; in the deep waters of loneliness; in this foreign land of neediness and sorrow; we give You thanks. We praise You for your marvelous love that washes away the stain of our our sin. We lift our hands to You for being the beginning and the end. We open our hearts to hope for a home beyond this one, and make the righteousness You won for us our greatest delight. In the name of our King and Lord, our great Mediator, our High Priest who understands all the pain we endure, in the name of our Brother Jesus, we pray. Amen"

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. May our hearts remember His goodness dwells not just beyond our current struggles, but that right here in the mess of it all, He is good.

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