Do you live with thanksgiving? Sometimes I struggle. Offering thanks doesn’t come easy. I forget.
But being thankful is a vital part of our walk with the Lord. It’s that “remembering to remember” thing we talked about several weeks ago. Do you recall?
Thanksgiving in Phil. 4:6
Since you have such great memories, I’m sure you’ll recollect our chat in a previous post on Phil. 4:6. 🙂 You know the one….being anxious for nothing.
It’s a neat little scripture that I’ve written on a card and taped to our bathroom mirror. Not only does this verse direct us to not being anxious through prayer and petition, but it also mentions to submit our requests to God “with thanksgiving.” That’s where the faithfulness of God recently shined brighter than the noonday sun.
My Story about Giving Thanks
In the midst of our rental contract “opportunity,” the one I mentioned in a in which the battle with anxiety was fierce but God won, that little ditty about offering thanksgiving came to life on the mirror one day. I found myself staring at it, pondering the opportunity, then realizing I simply needed to get real with God.
(I’m dancing a little jig in my mind right now because that was a pivotal moment, the second “getting real” surfaced, God was able to work and be magnified in the situation. It meant I was trusting Him in the face of anxiety, a huge step!)
Oh, I could have come up with a sort of vanilla list of thanksgiving, some items might have even have contained a hint of color. Certainly reciting such a list would have allowed me to check thanksgiving off the list, as if I were prepping my collar, clearing my throat, and arching my back in pride. However, spiritual wars are not won that way, not with our own vanilla lists.
They are won with God’s power.
What occurred in that moment of “getting real” was a cry to God, a cry asking Him to show me what to be thankful for. Being thankful seemed so distant in my fleshly weakness. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a single thing to be thankful for in that situation. However, He called me to be thankful in Phil. 4:6, I’d learned it by heart and it was now staring me in the face. God wanted me to trust Him at His Word. His desire was that I fight with thankfulness. Was I going to trust Him? Since I didn’t know what to be thankful for, the only way seemed to be to ask the Lord to show me what to be thankful for. That was my prayer, “Lord, show me what I should be thankful for in this situation, and I’ll offer it to you.”
Like flying colors, He answered that prayer. What an awesome God we serve! When I asked, He answered. (Surprise!) Within one or two days He had given me a list, a bonafide list of thanksgiving, one bursting with color. Line after line of thankfulness covered my prayers in that battle with anxiety.
With God all things are possible, and truly, through thanksgiving, that was the case.
That particular battle with anxiety is won, and our family, in just a couple of days, will be heading north. We’ll be moving back to North Carolina, to live in our house once again. I am thankful!
On that note, life will be a bit busy in the upcoming days and weeks. I love meeting with you here at the Branch, however, one-on-one time with the Lord and my family is paramount right now, so I’ll kindly ask you to “bear” with me as my family and I transition. We have miles and miles, fourteen hours worth, to cover in our van, new carpet to enjoy, paint to plan for, fields to romp in, God friends to catch up with, and furniture to move into place once again after it has spent nearly eight months in storage. Yes indeed, I am thankful.
Press in, be encouraged, romp in “real”, and turn over every stone of thankfulness. It’s a mighty weapon, and our Lord is truly worthy.