Friday, November 22, 2013

Tiptoeing THANKS

rocky path

Sometimes life’s paths may seem rocky and rough, but remember there is an Almighty Creator who has willingly offered you His gentle and strong hand to carry you the rest of the way!

Ever feel like a topic may need a bit of tiptoeing instead of a quick boot to the seat? Well, today is just that---a graceful tiptoe down a corridor that I know hits close to home for me.

Ever been overwhelmed with hurt? Ever faced a physical condition? Lost a loved one? Eaten a LARGE slice of humble pie? Faced a complete change of direction?

Are you as human as I and struggle to give thanks within these circumstances too? In my humble opinion and much experience, I would have to say that it is within these times I face the greatest challenge. How can I give thanks for the constant criticism, ugly sin, daily failures, constant migraines, unkindness, crushed dreams, frustrations in ministry and home, and so much more?

Might I too be learning this lesson? Yes, indeed, my friends! I am learning and learning. I am thankful that we can learn together and that God never leaves me alone to figure things out by myself.

I have been going through the book “One Thousand Gifts” with my ladies Bible study! What an eye and heart opening endeavor this has been. And, what a perspective changer!

“Count the ways He loves, a thousand, more, never stop, that when you wake in the mornings you can’t help turn humbly to the east, unfold your hand to the heavens, and though you tremble and though you wonder, though the world is ugly, it is beautiful, and you can slow and you can trust and you can receive each moment as grace. Eucharisteo.”—Ann Voskamp

I am reminded of the passage in John 3:30-“He must increase and I must decrease!”

I in no way have arrived in learning this much needed step in the Christian walk, but I praise the Lord for the struggles He has deemed me worthy to endure. I often get to the end and turn around and see some of His great purposes for me within the “thick” times. Yes, there are still many reasons I will never know nor understand until I stand before the throne of Grace. But, I can and must give thanks for these things too.

I started counting my gifts at the end of May. My journal is almost to the 900 gift mark and I am determined to thank my Lord for another 100 things before we get to Thanksgiving morning! Why has it taken me so long to get this needed truth through my thick skull? Even now, why must I get discouraged amidst thick and, quite honestly, seemingly impossible situations? When my heart is reminded of all I have to thank Him for that frustration and hurt seems to be drowned out.

I wrote this in my journal a few days ago and I’ve looked at it often the last few days. Praying it too can encourage you no matter what you are within.

Amidst the “darker” times of life He too is worthy of receiving my absolute THANKS!! Say it…say thanks for even these moments! It is then that my perspective shifts to actually seeing those adversities as something absolutely worthy of giving thanks for. I will begin to lift my thankful heart to the Lord who has in that moment counted me worthy to possibly “suffer” for His sake.

Give thanks for ALL things, my friends!