This past weekend I was challenged by the statement, “Be Thankful!” by someone whom I admire and respect. This was a particularly hard pill to swallow because I have been very comfortable wallowing in my own sorrows as of late. “Be Thankful”, what does that mean anyway? Why should I, I am very happy in my own pitty party. So as most people do who are content in their own pity I brushed it off and went on with my week.
Well, little did I know, the God, whom I claim to trust my soul too, decided that wasn’t good enough. He in His infinite wisdom, like in so as in many of circumstances provided subtle reminders througout the week of what I needed to be thankful for and why. Simple things strategically placed: a son who loves to hug you out of the blue, in fact he even annouces it to the room. A friend who calls just to say hi. A job that allows me to work from home so I can set my own schedule and have more time with my family. A wife who loves me no matter what and sends me texts like, “I am sorry your week has been so bad.”, even though she knows texting is not my favorite type of communication from. Songs playing through my headphones like: 10,000 Reasons from Matt Redman,
. Maybe is was listening to John Edridge in this weeks podcast, New Frontiers – Part 4, proclaiming that we should be thanksful in our sorrow because in our challenges we know that God is with us. Maybe it was the continuous reading of Psalm 96:
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Or maybe, just maybe I realized that God is really the AWESOME ONE, not me, and maybe, just maybe my thankfulness needs to be in Him as the chapparone of my life. Maybe I realized that I need to step out of the drivers seat and be the passenger. So here I sit in my realization in the Portland International Airport, teary eyed reflecting on the things I am thankful for and singing praises to the Lord who saved me from my own pity part. So what now? Now I go on my business trip that I have been dreading all week but, instead of going with a with a heavy heart I am thankful and uplifted. Now I go with purpose.
So my challenge to you is to Be Thankful, Be Blessed and Be Challenged. For as I have long believed but often forget. Only through adversity we can find opportunity.