Psalm 69:30, “I will praise the name of God with a song. I will magnify Him with Thanksgiving”
Whoosh, the calendar page turns, Thanksgiving Day 2017 is a memory of wonderful delights enjoyed by families gathered around decorated tables heaped with delicious food. Doorbells rang, hugs were exchanged, conversation began, children’s voices raised with joy, prayers were said; WAIT A MINUTE!! In many places sorrow and despair were guests at the table because Jesus was not present, chaos ruled. This can happen even if Jesus is at our table. Maybe your thankful heart was disguised by exhaustion, crying babies, family conflicts or in my situation, unwanted change. Change has come to my home….my family….We have gone from a table full of family members to this year two of us enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner at a restaurant. Our family is “far-flung” and gathering times are untraditional yet cherished. When this began to happen I asked myself how can I give thanks in “this circumstance”……how can I have a thankful heart? I love to cook, love to hear ringing doorbells when I know who is on the other side and love to hug my loved ones. Recently I spent an unusually difficult time in Corinne’s Garden and I sensed the Holy Spirit coming alongside me to administer strength for the trying situation. God’s word revealed to me that when I have a thankful heart in the midst of difficulty, it is a sacrifice pleasing to God, and Satan is defeated (Colossians 1:10). It is hard to ….Give thanks IN ALL circumstances and then to know that this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus (1Thessalonians 5:16-18).
I want this to happen, but how? I am a sinner saved by grace, created by you God! So true to form I did one of my mini-word studies on sacrifice; I found Ephesians 5:2 …And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ummm, is there a part of your life Nancy that requires letting go and you find yourself resenting it? Well here is where I told the Lord that I had already surrendered our oldest daughter and her family to His faraway ministry and now what more did He want from me…..then this came to mind…How is my attitude altered when I begin to see change as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God? That is when a thankful heart surfaces. Be encouraged dear friend, this “thankful heart business” is an ongoing process; my spirits become dampened periodically and I sense that discontent dries up my soul. Nevertheless when I have a clear understanding of what the Holy Spirit does in my life I quickly dry off my spirits and moisten my soul. At that moment, as David shouted to the Lord, I call out….Unto thee O Lord do I lift my soul. O my God I trust in thee – Ps. 25:1, 2; My soul is lifted up when I focus on the glory of God. 2 Timothy 3:17 encourages me , “That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” I am equipped to activate my “thankful heart.”