“For everything ~ everything you provide, give, don't give, promise — thank you, Lord…”
I had silently prayed as I thought of my dear sister in Christ as she struggled sleeping over her day, yet another sister missing her hubby, yet another sister crying out to God over her boys, yet another & another ...
Really? Is what she asked me, you really believe God hears you? Yes!! and I believe He cares, and He loves, and He restores, and He redreams & He provides & He protects. Really? Again, she asked.
She looks me right in the eye. So then, “If God really works in everything, why don’t we thank Him for everything? Why do we accept good from His hand — and not bad?” This is hard. Maybe the hardest of all. She is confused, weary & tired. She has so much to come.
I have held dying babies. Eaten with those who live on the town garbage heap. Wept with women who’ve been violated, with the bankrupt, the heart crushed, the terminal, the incarcerated, the elderly, the toddler, the Africaan that couldn't understand my words ~ yet heard my heart!
And this never stops being true: Neglecting to give thanks only deepens the wound of the world. I've stood next to the one that had nothing but a smile and JOY ~ joy from the Lord that was indescribable and contagious.
Doesn’t God call His people to a non-discriminating response in all circumstances?
“Give thanks always and for everything” (Ephesians 5:20 ESV).
If I only thank Him when times are easy & good — is this “selective faith”? Practical atheism? What of faith in a God who wastes nothing? Who makes all into grace?
And yet — is thanking God for everything… thanking Him for evil? Really? is what I ask! I am tired, confused, frustrated as I struggle over the every thing ~ everything!
When we bought the enemy’s lie in the beginning and ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Satan hissed then that we’d really see and know what is good and evil. But the father of lies, he’d duped us in the whole nine yards, from the beginning, from the get-go, TODAY. Though we ate of that tree we did not become like God. If any of us wants wisdom, we are to ask it of God and seek it ~ to pursue it.
We have no knowledge of good and evil apart from God. My seeing, it is not omniscient. It may definitely feel like it — but how can I really see the long-term outcome of a death, disaster, dilemma, a prodigal son, drug addiction, alcoholism, abuse & a bombing at a marathon ...? Mine is only to faithfully see His Word and wholly, passionately obey. Therein is the tree of life ~ His Word is a light unto my feet, His Word is life to my soul, it is balm over my wounds, it is music to my soul,
it is ________________. (Consider what it is to you ~ and let me know!)
Is this why He commands “give thanks always and for everything?" Because to thank God in all is to refuse Satan’s relentless lure to be god-like in all.
To thank God in all is to bend the knee in allegiance to God Who alone knows all.
To thank God in all is to give God glory in all. Is this not our chief end? Glory stories abound!
When I only give thanks for some things, aren’t I likely to miss giving God glory in most things?
Murmuring thanks isn’t to deny that an event isn’t a tragedy and neither does it deny that there’s a cracking painfully aching fissure straight across the heart.
Giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God. Isn't (shouldn't) His grace be enough for us?
Our thanks to God is our witness to the goodness of God when Satan and all the world would sneer at us to recant.
I lay my hand on my heart and confess "Lord, I've been so negligent and haven't gave You thanks! Hear my heart and know I am thankful and I love you, and Your grace and mercy wash over me.
But this is the hardest of all: That which I refuse to thank Christ for, I refuse to believe Christ can redeem. That disaster, dilemma, a prodigal son, drug addiction, alcoholism, abuse ... so where is my faith?!
His perfect love casts out all fears and leaves only thanks and I listen: Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.
Like a song from the belly of the fish, like a Jonah refrain echoing off the walls of the whale: “But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you…” (Jonah 2:9 ESV)
Like a haunting, holy answer to what she asks (really?), the song of the saints, always thanksgiving — Paul from prison, Martha from the kitchen, Peter from hiding, John asking if Jesus had forgotten him, Mary in the stable ... practicing here the only song that will be sung at the very last of time, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving… to our God” (Rev. 7:12 ESV).
Blessing & Glory & Wisdom & Thanksgiving .... Thank you, Lord.
If for just a day all I said was "thank you, Lord", the brazen song the faithful sing into the hardest storms….
Oh how I pray for all of my mid-west family & friends .... I love you & I miss you .... I pray for you!!
Learning & Living,