Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thank You, God

What if God took from you everything for which you failed to thank Him? Would you still have your spouse, friends, or children? Would you have your home or car or job? Would you still have a church to attend? Would you even have arms or legs or the ability to see, hear and touch the beauty that surrounds you but goes unnoticed most days?
A number of years ago, the Lord used some difficult circumstances in my life and the cruel words of another person that I had once trusted to show me my need to allow the Lord to work thanksgiving in me. At that time, I expended much energy thinking about what I didn't have or what wasn't right in my life and very little time thanking God for the endless array of blessings that were mine each day. I was deeply hurt by the words of this person because they did not come from a heart broken with love for me, but I ran to God and asked Him to show me what truth could be mined from this unsolicited cave of criticism. He took me to His word and revealed a profound truth in a familiar passage of scripture. Phil 4:6-7 says, "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I had never seen it before. How had I missed this? His peace follows our thanksgiving! The peace in which you and I will walk is connected to a thankful heart.
I am grateful that God loved me enough to use even harsh words from a misguided woman to redirect my heart to His. Not that I have this sewn up-not at all. Still I struggle with my flesh in this area, but my heart is filled so much more often with deep, heart-felt thanksgiving for the beauty that is mine to relish in this life.
And you? How much of His peace surrounds you? Maybe it is time to take stock of all that He has done. Better clear your schedule...this could take a while.