Being Thankful

November is the month when people talk about being thankful especially since Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of the month. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to be thankful though because we think about all the things we don’t have or the people we think live this life better than we do. The question we should be asking though is, “What does God say about being thankful in Scripture?”

It turns out He says plenty about being thankful.  Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Another example would be from Hebrews 12:28. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

There are quite a few examples from Psalms. Here are two of them–the first being from Chapter 106, Verse 1 “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

The second example is from Chapter 107, Verse 1. “Give thanks to the Lord. for he is good; his love endures forever.”

And finally, from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

There are many more where those came from. I usually don’t post that many examples, but my fingers just started typing, and it’s come to mind why God wanted me to find so many examples of being thankful. Sometimes, I look at other people, and I see how much better they are at living the Christian life than I am. I am broken, the worst of the worst, and I am completely inadequate. I know this. It is not a surprise to me. But, God is in my heart, and I have the Holy Spirit in my life. He gives me the strength to live bravely for Him. To be the person He wants me to be, not anyone else. To use the gifts He gave me–to do the things that are familiar and to try new things too.  And He wants me to be thankful for all of it. I will do another post that states exactly what I am thankful for on Thanksgiving, but I wanted to write something today that showed what I had learned from God about being thankful.

God’s blessings on you all today!

Letter to God

Dear God,

I know you want us to be real and honest when we talk to you so that is what I’m doing with this letter today. I know, in my reading of the Psalms, that David was very honest with you so I am hoping you will hear me.

What do you want from me, God? For the last several days, I have steeped myself in music that declares your majesty. Declares your love for us. It calms my spirit when I do that. But, then, I think of relating to the outside world, and I am terrified. Is this a result of my depression? My introversion? I don’t know. I just don’t feel like I’m contributing, and I feel like I’m a disappointment to you.

I should have the capability to leap past this like so many others I know do, but I just don’t. Not today, anyway. Maybe it’s the grace part I’m having problems with. Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” These verses can even be seen at the top of this blog.

But, today, God, today, I hurt. Today, I wish I was done with my journey here and in heaven with you though I know it is your choice when my journey is done and not mine. I know when I’m in heaven I won’t hurt anymore. I won’t wonder if I will be missed. I won’t wonder if my life counted. I won’t think or express what I consider to be bad emotions. Why did you make us with good and bad stuff anyway? Wouldn’t it have been easier just to make us with good stuff? Or did the bad come in when sin entered the world? I have no idea. I guess that will be another question you’ll answer later.

Back to the main question I had when I started writing this letter. Does it count as worship when I hurt, when I’m afraid? Is that what you mean when you say trust me? I know you are working in my heart. I know the Holy Spirit is present in my life. I just wish I could get past the idea that, to be an authentic or good Christian, my “church face” needs to be on or my shields need to be up. I wish that I didn’t feel awkward about asking for prayer for myself in person about things that other people don’t consider important. Do you truly see all my tears, God? I hope so.

At the beginning of this letter, I said I knew I could be authentic with you, and I am trusting in that. In the meantime, I will worship you. I will worship you even if I have tears pouring down my face because that is how much I love you.

With Love,

Your Devoted Daughter