Monday, November 14, 2011

In this season of thanks...

"Enter God's gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise, give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:4-5

There was a girl who came to our wedding with her hair tied in bright pink knots. The wife of my husband's dear friend, she became known adoringly among my friends as "Pink Knots". It would have been easy to judge Pink Knots or misunderstand her, but to know her is to love her. She posesses a boldness and honesty hard to find in our culture. Pink Knots is the perfect combination of candor and compassion, she is usually the first to volunteer when there is a need or someone is hurting. Ten years have passed since our wedding and just last year, she and her husband and their two children moved quite a distance away. Fortunately, social media allows us to be closer in distance than perhaps we were living just around the corner.

When I suffered my first stillbirth, Pink Knots cried for our baby and came in the middle of the night leaving food on our doorstep and prayers in our hearts. Many did not know what to do, but Pink Knots reached out in a way I will never forget. It remains indellibly etched in my heart the kindness she showed during great sadness. I know I have learned priceless lessons from her about not serving man and about being thankful. She lives in a rural area where she and her husband hunt and enjoy the beauty of the vast expanse of land they have been blessed with. Hard workers, she and her husband take nothing for granted. Her attitude of gratitude has blessed me.

A few years ago, Pink Knots began on her Face*book page a series of Thanksgivings she titled "100 days of Gratitude" where she consciously found reasons to give thanks instead of complain or allow herself to be burdened with the heaviness or hardship of life. I loved this idea and so, about 75 days ago, I embarked on this journey myself. It is hard to place into words what this experience has done for my own relationship with the Lord. I find my prayers have changed, my quiet time has changed, my days are brighter, my service more meaningful, relationships are deeper, the little things look little and the big ones get prayed for more frequently. Why? Simply because in each and every circumstance, there is reason to give thanks.

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

The consistency of looking for the blessing rather than focusing on the hardship is a constant reminder of God's goodness as the author and perfector of our faith and our lives. Sarah Young writes of the Lord's longing desire for us to seek Him and chat with Him in the book, Jesus Lives "Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Me (the Lord) and talk it out. Trust me by opening up consistently. Do not wait until you are already discouraged. As we talk about these matters, remember to thank Me. Your communion with me will bless you in another way also: You will find in my presence irrepressible joy. Whether or not I (the Lord) change your circumstances, you will discover I have given you a new song - a hymn of praise."

Could you be more purposeful in giving thanks everyday and in every situation? I have found so many opportunities I was missing to thank God for His grace, mercy, teaching, and for His love. Even in the hardest times, I can thank Him for being right there in my hour of need, for meeting me where I am, and for being the Alpha and the Omega when I am simply his little child.

What are you thankful for today?



Sonya said...

I'm thankful for my family and my salvation!

Heather said...

I am too!! :) there are so many things I am thankful for!!

love, Heather

Anonymous said...

I love your post! thanks for sharing...loves soraya...