Friday, February 25, 2011

Be Thankful...

pics 962

Friends, I'm pulling this one straight from the pages of my journal...if that isn't real, then I don't know what is.  Just don't expect me to let you look in my closet...'cause it's not gonna happen *wink*. 

Being thankful in difficult circumstances seems to be the lesson I am supposed to learn during this season of my life.  Oh, how it is so easy for me to give thanks when the road is smooth and life's bumps are at bay.  But, when life gets tough, praise and thanks to God doesn't roll off the tongue so easily. 

During the last six months, there have been times where I've found myself asking, "Lord, when will this end?  Have I done what you've asked of me?  Bring Your answer quickly!"  Most of my prayers have been asking for deliverance from this trial. While I do believe that will happen, out of frustration, my thoughts and my prayers have not always been focused on thanksgiving for God's blessings.

If I am not careful, discontentment creeps into my heart and I turn my eyes away for a moment and begin to forget all the ways the Lord has blessed and cared for us during this time.

I am often reminded of the children of Israel's exodus out of Egypt.  Their praise for the Lord's goodness, mercy and protection, soon turned to grumbling once they experienced a trial.  They cried, "We want food!"  So God gave them manna.  They whined, "We want meat!"  So God gave them quail.  He protected them from their enemies and personally led them through the wilderness in the form of a pillar of cloud and fire.  Yet, their continued complaining and lack of recognition of God's deliverance cost them the right to enter the promised land.  They failed to see they had the favor and protection of the God of the Universe!

How often have I forgotten during this trial that we have experienced miracles and blessings!  I look at the circumstance and say, "God give me what I want!" And fail to say, "Lord, thank you for the blessing of this time...the opportunity to experience your goodness.  Thank you for your daily provision and for using the kindness of others to bless us!"

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."
                                                                        Psalm 34:8

My desire is for others to see how He is caring for our family in a miraculous way and give praise to Him.  Lord, have your way.  The desire of my heart is to master a heart of thankfulness and give Him the praise He deserves in all areas of my life.  I Thessalonians 5:18 says:

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

I have yet to come across a verse that says, "Praise Him when your up and kick Him when your down."  It's just not anywhere in the Bible (well, except when Job's wife told him to curse God...but she was off her rocker).  But, time and again we are urged to be thankful in all things.  But, why?

He wants us (me) to turn our eyes from our circumstances and look to Him.  We're not to focus on the gift or lack of, but the giver...God. 

I guess I'm sharing this entry with one give a reason for the hope that I have.  To remind myself (and you, if any of this resonates with you) that my circumstance does not shake or nullify my faith.  In fact, this trial has reminded me that while I do not know what tomorrow holds, I am firmly in His had.  He has not forgotten us, nothing surprises Him, and He never finds Himself ill-prepared to care for those who love Him.
In all things, be thankful.

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
                                                                  Colossians 3:17


Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

It's hard, isn't it? Especially when you're in the middle of it. Been there, done that - a hundred times!!! I find it so much easier to be thankful on the back end, after I've seen exactly how God was moving. But to focus on Him and our many blessings in the midst of trials? That's a big deal! (And hard. If I haven't said that already!)

Have you read Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, by any chance? I just bought it for a Bible study I'm not actually doing now. (Because I switched to the parenting class on discipline, go figure.) If you haven't read the book, would you want it? I'd be happy to send it to you. If you want it. I'm not trying to be pushy or weird. :) I just know I won't get to reading it for a million years now that I don't have the accountability of a study, and I've been trying to figure out who I could give it to! Let me know. :)

Nikki said...

I would LOVE it! Thank you Mar! I'll shoot you my address...thank you for thinking of me!

Sounds like I need to take that parenting/discipline class too! Eva is tantruming now...and I'm a bit rusty!