Wednesday, November 25, 2015

For When Thanksgiving Seems Too Difficult

Sometimes being grateful seems fake and forced. It feels silly and senseless in the midst of trials and tragedies. And yet it can be our lifeline. This month I've been attempting to document my thanks via Instagram. It's been a fun exercise to look around each day for the things I am thankful for and see the little (and big) ways that God is working in, through, and around me. It would seem as though the enemy does not want me to be grateful for anything, but rather to sow seeds of discontentment and feel justified in doing so. But God, in His rich mercy and grace, has been so faithful to remind me of the importance of having an attitude of gratitude. An attitude of gratitude turns what I have into more than enough. An attitude of gratitude says that God is faithful and rests in His provision. An attitude of gratitude doesn't seek to compare or criticize, but rather to accept and rest in what He has done. 

The other day at work I was trying to print something, and the printer said that it was in a state of error. For a while now I've been living like I'm in a state of error. The enemy has tried to make me think I'm in a state of error. But God makes no mistakes. His creation is perfect and good and serves a purpose. I am His workmanship, His poema. He has made me in His image and I am to bear good works as a result of that. I cannot bear good works and love others if I believe that something is wrong with me. How can I preach His truth to my kids everyday when I have trouble claiming it for myself? His love is so much more than happy slappy five steps to heaven. His love is infinite and wide and food and it never fails. His mercies are new every morning and His grace is sufficient for me. 

About a week ago, the Lord finally allowed some of the things I have been praying find their way from my head to make it to my heart. I was sitting in Bible study, and a friend shared how she turned her thoughts around by saying, "But Jesus" whenever she was faced with an untruth. Oh how simple, yet powerful to call upon the name of our sweet Savior! The verse in the picture above is written in my prayer journal, and it suddenly hit me that when there are hard trials, we overcome by our faith in the only One who is able. That means that even when we don't feel like making much of Jesus, we beg Him to be in us what we cannot be.

When I choose to sow seeds of discontentment and neglect to look into the face of the One who sees me, made me, and chose me, I miss out. I miss out on the depths of His love and the riches of His mercy. When I allow the lies of the enemy to trump the truth of God's word and rest in my feelings, which are not always trustworthy, I allow myself to sink into the depths of deception and can no longer walk in the abundant life Christ has called me to and provided for me. 

So when Thanksgiving feels too difficult and it seems easier to believe lies rather than fight for truth, remember these things: God is for you, He is control, and He loves you. 

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