2010-11-25 - Prayerful Thanks
Col 2:6-7 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. (NASB)
The only things you can take with you are the people whose lives you have touched - Bill Hybels
I write on Wednesday nights which means I have the humbling honor to write for Thanksgiving each year. Topics have included stories pulled from history all the way back to the Pilgrims and the Puritans. These were people who knew Christ in their daily lives. The longer I live by God's grace I learn a little more about the depravity of the human heart and the mercy and grace of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God.
I learn that many of our troubles are self-inflicted by making poor choices. But I have also seen that there are times when trouble has visited people to be a lesson to us of dependence on God. When we stop trying to live our lives in our own strength and live for Christ He can help us. As long as we walk and struggle under our own power - His resources, while not completely shut out, are muted. The woman with the issue of blood had spent everything she had on doctors and medicine. We don't know the cause of her aliment of the the exact nature of her condition. That is not important. We do know this. When she gave up, when her hands were empty and her strength and resources had failed, and turned to Jesus she received the healing she had sought for a decade.
We who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord have the greatest reason for joy of any group in the world. We know that our futures are in heaven beyond the end of time. We know it was not done in our fallible efforts and so are secure. It was completed by the God Who loves us enough to send His only Son to pay the price for our sin, our disobedience, and opened the way again to Heaven.
We also have the reason for the greatest sadness. The people who walk through our lives on a daily basis - friends, relatives and coworkers that do not know Jesus. We can not save them. We can't even change their minds. What we know to be truth beyond question is foolishness to the world. Prayer is the offensive weapon in the armor that we are provided. Before a farmer can plant seeds he needs to plow the field in which he wants to grow the crops. Prayer is the plow of the hard human heart. Our obedience is a witness, and our availability to the Spirit of God to speak when we are called.
For all of these things we should be thankful - the Lord Who loves us and wants to talk with us, Who is interested in our thoughts, needs and requests. Then for friends, family, food on the table, the opportunity to pray for all these people and our leaders. I personally know people who are seriously struggling tonight with health, finances and jobs. It is not easy for them to be thankful unless they look closely. Some of them are finding the truth that those things still exist in their lives that are blessings. I'm sure many of you do too. Pray for them. Keep in touch. Be a positive point in their lives.
Let go of the controls and pray for direction and wisdom. See the blessings that we often take for granted that we can learn to be overflowing with gratitude. Selah.
Grace & Peace,