Sunday, November 21, 2010

Give Thanks

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

The blog has been idle for a longer period of time than usual. I have had much on my mind, but not the desire to write it all down. In my own little world, there are five nagging situations jostling for the rights to be top dog of my worries. Minute for minute I'm fighting back. I will not worry. I will trust. I will lay down my fears and know that God will be with me through whatever comes next, whether I imagined it or not. I will not participate with fear. And I will not participate with worry. (at least most of the time)

I googled 'give thanks' just now and the verses at the top came up. "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong." I started there because I needed that reminder. Not to keep somebody else from doing it, but to keep my own wronged self from doing it. If I can even claim to be wronged in the first place, which is probably debatable. But I couldn't start with give thanks if I'm still trying to figure out how to get somebody back, right?!

"Always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else." That, too, was for me. I get so tired sometimes of always doing the right thing. I just want to walk away from some of these obligations and responsibilities/commitments. I don't want to be the dependable one or the one who is always taking the hard road because "it's right". The verse says, 'Always', though and it's pretty hard to find your way around that. So I'll take that along with the next word, "Rejoice", and I'll turn my grumbling into joyful service - doing what is good for all.

It seems these last few weeks came with the requirement to "Pray Continually". I just wanted to outlast them, but I think if that's the plan, it's going to have to be on my knees. And it's not just me and my little world either. As I interact with others I keep hearing of more and more upheaval. Everything sort of landing at once. The kinds of situations and events that cause you to be thankful for new strength every day and new mercies every morning. Keep praying.

"And give thanks in all circumstances." Which was what I was searching for in the first place, right? I just want to give thanks. Even in my uneasy, not exactly peaceful state, I can clearly see that I have much to be thankful for. I know that I am blessed. Blessed beyond reasonable expectation. My worries become so insignificant when placed alongside those of the rest of the world. In fact, that's probably the most powerful way to fight them off or at least keep them in perspective. I am so ready to give thanks. I'm thankful this year for things that don't fit well into a list, or even into words for that matter. Despite what swirls around me, my heart does swell with gratitude. It seems odd to be so thankful when there's so much uncertainty, yet that's what
I've got. A truly thankful heart.

If you're about to celebrate a Thanksgiving amidst a churning set of circumstances as well, I pray these last few verses for both of us:

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Bring us peace in our hearts, Lord. Amen

I Thessalonians 5:15-24

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Thank you for sharing your heart - you've blessed me. :) Hugs dear friend.