Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Pausing for Seasons of Thanksgiving

We live in a cynical age.  Plain and simple.  An often me-centric, bottom-line-driven, you get what you give kind of age.  It is easy to become wrapped up in this mad rush.  We stop seeing the small things which used to make us smile.  We forget how God's mighty hand can still touch and move the tiniest and simplest parts of our lives.

In the midst of this kind of chaos and disconnection in life, I'm grateful we live in a country where pausing for gratitude is a national observance.  This time of year is an opportunity to get out of the mad rush, stop, and ponder true thankfulness.  Laying the cynic aside, putting off self, and just reflecting.

We can reflect big or small or anywhere in-between but, truth be told, if we don't include the magnificence of God within this pause then we will become hung up all the insignificant trappings which are temporal and vanishing.

Gratitude is about something much more eternal.  The constantly changing seasons of our life might assign eternal value to varied points:  A butterfly kiss from a curly haired girl, the sweet salvation of a long prayed for loved one, keeping a home we thought we would loose, having enough just for today.... Transformation gratitude is seeing beyond the basic to the deeper, more moving and empowering parts of all we might take for granted.

But how?

It's simple.  Open God's Word, search the scripture for words like "Grateful", "Thanksgiving", Praise", "Thanks" and others.  Don't buzz through, nodding your head at familiarity.  No.  Terry, read before and after verses, pray, and consider the deeper messages in play.  SEE the words on the page, realize their significance, and allow them to work in your heart as you realize that deeper, more eternal and sustainable gratitude we were all meant to walk in light and celebration of, not just in November, but all year round.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 
making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, 
but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns 
and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 
 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father 
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another 
out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-21 (emphasis added)

Gratitude in the big, the small, the tangible, the intangible and everywhere in-between.  Why?  Because we, as believers, are filled with the Holy Spirit, walking in wisdom, seeking and following the will of the Lord.  We can and should celebrate His power to help us do this, and so much more.  We can and should praise and sing and be unified (making melody) to the Lord with all our being (with your heart).

Times tough?  Look to God and thank Him for being there and know, the simple fact that you are getting through another day is by His Grace and Strength. 

Times great? Don't forget to pause and thank Him.  Got a raise? Kids doing well? Great test results from the doctor? Look to God and thank Him for His continued provision/blessing/care.

Give thanks, always and for everything

I pray your Thanksgiving season doesn't pass without some good, deep-heart-rendering pauses to consider His magnificence and blessings in all corners of your heart and life.


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