There Comes A Time. . .
There comes a time in everyone’s life when we recognize how fortunate we are even though life has thrown us many curves and sliders! If we fail to do so; then we have not yet matured to the point of realizing that with the great and wonderful comes the dirty and ugly!
Over the years, I’ve learned that to be grateful for the dirty and ugly is a sign of maturity in the Spirit if not in the natural realm of things. One reason I can say this is the gift of having an opportunity to see experiences from both sides now and an understanding that all things really do work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. If I were editing the Scriptural text, I would add the word “eventually“. Because more often than not, the good in all things is recognized eventually – not right away!
Regardless, there always comes the time when to give thanks is the better part of human valor; even if we don’t really feel like doing so. However. . .
PAPA God Loves A Cheerful Giver, and. . .
He loves a giver of gratitude whose heart is authentically glad to do so!
Oh WOW, writing the sentence above is an eye-opener. The reason PAPA loves a cheerful giver is that such a person is motivated by authentic gratitude for all the Lord has done for her (or him). It’s what motivates us to give, that matters most to our Heavenly Father. If we are cheerful in giving thanks to Him; then our motivation for doing so is most likely pure and unadulterated by a personal agenda or two!
To give begrudgingly, for any reason, is to be dishonest with PAPA and ourselves. And to express thankfulness because it’s a long-standing holiday is no reason to do so unless we are sincerely grateful for all that is ours from His hands!
If Thanksgiving Comes. . .
Can Christmas be far behind? It occurs to me that the weeks before the celebration of the birth of our Lord is the perfect time to express corporate gratitude for how we as a nation have been blessed. Closely behind the celebration of Thanksgiving begins the season of Advent; the time each year when we celebrate the coming of the Lord as a babe in Bethlehem.
What more can we as Christian believers be grateful for than this!
What Must I Do Now?
As we prepare for tomorrow’s meal with family or friends (or both); I encourage each of us to take time for the following. . .
- Make a list. . . find a quiet place and a bit of peace in the midst of hurried preparations; sit still and think about your life as it is now. The great and wonderful; the dirty and ugly. The wisdom and wounds. The blessings and what has felt like a curse. Everything that has been your life over the past 11 or so months. . .or more!
- Seek & Ask. . .pray. Talk to PAPA and ask Him to give you discernment and clarity. Let Him guide you in recognizing the things He deems blessings. Especially ask Him about those things you consider a “curse”. I bet if you are quiet and still long enough, He will give you the clarity to see the good in those not-so-nice life experiences. As least a glimpse of how it is all fitting together for the good!
- Write. . . write everything down. As you record what you consider a “curse”; write the clarity PAPA is giving you so you can particularly thank Him for opening the eyes of your understanding!
- Eyes Closed & Mind Still. . .take deep breaths and with each inhalation, thank Him for the blessings you have received. With each exhalation, thank Him for wisdom and understanding of that which you called curse. Breathing in the goodness of His blessings and acceptance of His Wisdom and Grace under fire; exhaling misunderstanding and labeling of blessing as curse!
- Speak. . . for PAPA God is listening. Speak your gratitude. Speak it out loud so your ears will hear it and your mind will capture it. Let it sink deep into your heart so that it reaches soul and spirit!
I Know of No Other Way. . .
I know of no other way to make authentic and genuine a day set aside to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the blessings bestowed upon us individually and as a nation. While a season of gratitude should be a daily occurrence; it is also true that the season can include that which is set aside specifically for same!
A very blessed and joyous celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
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