A Spirit of Thankfulness

This week is a holiday. One of Thanksgiving. Perhaps you have traditions with large family gatherings. Or maybe you do something simpler—you may even have to work on Thanksgiving. Perhaps you are looking forward to Thursday, or maybe you are dreading it. Maybe the holiday seasons will be extra hard this year because someone is missing from the family picture, or maybe hopes you had expected were dashed this year and everything has gone dull.

I don’t know where you are, but God knows. And He is faithful.

If there is nothing you feel like giving thanks for this year, thank Him for being there, for seeing you.

I have recently been praying the same prayer over and over again, one that makes me cry out, “How long Lord, how long?” For a time I received no answer. Then months later, two weeks ago, in fact, I was crying out in anger, in frustration, in pain, “This hurts!”

And an answer came, “I know.” It hit me quite powerfully as the tears ran down my face.

He knows. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords knows what you’re going through. He rejoices in the good, helps in the hard, and holds you when you’re brokenhearted.

Now I can’t stand here and pretend that I always feel Him holding me. This is all so much easier said than done, but there is one thing I have learned, and it’s a challenge. It’s the simplicity of being thankful.

In joy—be thankful. In heartbreak—be thankful. In the quiet, sweet moments of life—be thankful. In the moments of fear and temptation—be thankful. In the reminder that the Lord is our God and sees us—be thankful.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. –1 Thesalonians 5:16

A spirit of thankfulness has the power to push back any darkness. It draws us closer to God in times of need and in times of doubt.

So this week I challenge you to spend time in thankful prayer. Not simply going through your blessings like a grocery list and checking them off, but really taking time to thank the Lord for the good in your life. It’s a change when prayer goes from, “Thank you for family,” to mentioning by name each person. It gets personal and specific. My prayer changes to praising God for my sweet nephew, “Thank You for David and his laughter, the way his eyes light up when he makes a silly face and laughs at himself. Thank You for the way he reaches up to take my hand or climbs in my lap to read a book. Thank You for the love he shows to his sister. Thank You for the reminder of how I am to reach up and take Your hand. Thank You for the reminder of how I am to trust You.”

Maybe, if you try this method of prayer, your heart will turn from struggle to praise. From worry to joy. Take a glance at the Psalms and you will see these heart-wrenching, soul-searching, spirit-praising prayers that always rely on who God and His faithfulness.

Now take a deep breath and begin, “Heavenly Father, thank You for____________________________”

Go ahead, be specific and fill in the blank.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Meaghan Rauscher

Women’s Ministry Assistant

 

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