When we are given an opportunity to give thanks, it’s vital that we grasp it and engage ourselves fully in the moment. While this may sound very elementary, do we fully embrace a moment of thankfulness? Are we taking for granted these moments perched in time? Have we become comfortable and take for granted the blessings in our lives? Hmmm.....
During the month of November you will begin to hear numerous commentators elaborate on the word, "thankful". We each may take an inventory of the numerous areas in our personal lives of which we are "thankful". Boys and girls across this great land will create essays which describe their personal views of being "thankful". Many congregations will open their doors to provide meals and serve the community as a demonstration of "thankfulness".
However, I ask you to move beyond the autumn colors, advance past the images of Pilgrims and turkeys, and evaluate the true meaning of thankfulness in your life. I recently read a scripture which I have read numerous times throughout my life, yet this time when I read it, the words almost appeared to leap from the pages...
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].
I must be very honest, I had to literally sit back and revisit some of the situations or "circumstances" in my life, where I could have, should have exhibited thankfulness; but I can't say that I did, at least not at that moment.
Encountering a surgery, which left me learning how to walk again in my 30's, I remember being thankful when I was walking again, but I don't recall being thankful for being stuck in a wheelchair for almost 12 months.
As a breast cancer survivor, which caused me to receive a partial mastectomy, I remember being thankful the cancer was gone, but was I thankful that my body was now disfigured?
Receiving a telephone call that my mother had been murdered, was I supposed to find thankfulness in this?
While re-living the above mentioned experiences, the Lord would not allow me to get stuck right there. I was led to continue reading the scripture which spoke to my heart..."for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
I now look at each area, and I can virtually see the ministry out of each situation which at the time, appeared to be a mountain of misery.
I can empathize when I see men and women who are having difficulty walking, and I can pray effectively for them. Walking is such a normal aspect in our lives, an act which is applauded at a young age, and to have that act removed can be devastating. I am thankful I have been given the ability to see beyond the disability and minister to the need.
Volunteerism with Breast Cancer Awareness Organizations and being a voice for increased research, education and self-examination is a passion for me. I am thankful for the families I have met during this journey and the lives the Lord has allowed me to touch, with a knowing heart.
When I witness families in dysfunction and view the intense dynamics of families, I now have a burden, and have been led to pray fervently for reconciliation on their behalf. This vapor we call life can end so quickly and unexpectedly, therefore if in some small way I am led to speak peace through Christ into their lives, for that I am thankful.
I beseech you to take a moment from your schedule and move forth in a mode of thankfulness. Inhale and exhale and be thankful you have the ability to do so. Blink your eyes even as you read this writing, and give a great thank you, that you are able to see. I would even ask you to look around wherever you are at this very moment and giggle....(you may get some strange or concerned looks) giggle...it’s one of the few child-like actions we still have which make us all feel sooooo good!
I am determined to learn with intensity the art of being thankful “in every circumstance”. My hope for you is that you would make the same resolve, by doing so I believe this shall allow each of us to.....
Walk In Power