Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!
We have declared today a day of thanksgiving in our house!
It all started this morning, when I was having my quiet time. My scripture passage was Colossians 3:1-17. I’ve been working my way through Paul’s letters a little bit at a time these past few weeks. I’ve worked out a system that has been pretty effective in the busy days of the holiday season. I read a small portion of scripture, and then journal what the Holy Spirit emphasizes to me. Nothing incredibly scholarly, mind you, but it has been an amazing experience for me (you can check out my Bible study journal by clicking on the Colossians link on my homepage under the section What I’m Reading). In fact, I’m hooked! We start our new Beth Moore Bible study on Wednesday, and I’m going to try to continue with my Bible study journaling in the morning. It is such a personal method of looking at scripture. I really feel like the Lord and I are sitting down for a chat. He speaks to me.
This morning I wasn’t listening very well. Apparently. Usually, I study my passage for half an hour and then spend half an hour in prayer, talking to God about what He revealed to me in that reading. For some reason, this morning, it seemed to be taking me longer to go through the scripture. I was getting frustrated. Forty five minutes had gone by. I knew that in 15 minutes I had to start packing lunches, and making breakfast, and then getting myself ready for work. I needed my prayer time. But I still had several verses to go through. One of the reasons I chose to take small passages was so that I could savor the scriptures and not feel hurried. I was feeling hurried. I needed my prayer time!
I asked, “What are you trying to tell me, Lord?” It didn’t seem like there was anything incredibly earth shattering. Well, I mean, all of scripture is earth shattering, but there wasn’t one thing that was jumping out at me. Suddenly, in the latter verses, a theme beckoned me. Verse 15: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Verse 16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” V17: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
It took me fifty minutes to get what He was trying to tell me. See, my Father was gently reminding me of something. Yesterday was Communion Sunday. I cry every time I take Communion. I can’t get over that my Lord shed His blood and had His body broken for me. It blows me away every time. This morning, my Heavenly Father wanted me to take that gratitude out of church and into my world. He opened my eyes to my nearsightedness.
In general, I think I’m a pretty grateful person. But how amazing it was to be grateful for every little thing today! When the car pulled in front of me abruptly in bumper to bumper traffic, I was thankful that we were safe. When my patient load seemed too heavy for me to handle, I was thankful that I was there to listen to them. When I heard the news that my sweet friend Debbie, who is in the ICU, had no change in status, I was thankful that she is loved, that things were not worse, and that she knows the Lord. I was thankful that my co-worker returned from maternity leave today (hallelujah!). Thankful that another friend is leaving the hospital to begin a new adventure as a businessman. Thankful for safe travel home. Thankful for a couple hours alone with my husband this afternoon. Thankful for a wonderful run, for my two gorgeous boys, for the glass of water I spilled on the floor (we have clean, running water; something so many lack in this world), thankful for laundry that needed folded (what abundance!), and thankful for a beloved friend who is moving away (her family needs to be all together—my mind knows this and was grateful, my heart is still trying to catch up)…Oh, the multitude of blessings the Lord has given me to be thankful for!
So, happy Thanksgiving, Dear Ones. I’m amazed at the difference a little gratitude has made in the way I see my world.
I love you, and I’m so thankful for you!