We just returned from vacation happy, but exhausted. As I walked around the house, I saw the many chores filling up the days ahead--the vacuuming, the dishes, the homeschool room that needs to be set up, the laundry, and the poop incident in the tub.
And inside I complained.
As I sat and watched the baby in his high chair after dinner, I felt God gently prompt me to thank Him. Here in front of me was the child I dearly wanted and was graciously given! Here was the child whose birth I worried over--alive and well!
And here I sat in my air-conditioned house that we also prayed for over two years ago--and were graciously given.
The sounds of my TWO other healthy children filled the house. And then there's my husband, a gift given at age 28 when I longed to be married. Almost eight years later, here we are, still married and still growing in grace.
Those are things I can see. What of the huge rescue plan God set forth before creation to make us His own? What of God becoming flesh, giving His blood to make us fit for Him? What of the gift of the Spirit's continual presence and comfort? What of the miracles God is working in my heart as He changes me "from glory to glory"?
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18I'm in need of a workout in thankfulness! I'm out of shape and suffering for it. Why is it such a battle to be thankful?
I'm reminded of this verse from Romans 1, the chapter that describes our human descent into sin as we push away God's reign:
"For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21Did you catch the part about thankfulness? Our rebellious nature does not want to honor God or give thanks to Him. And even though I love God and He has redeemed me from slavery to sin, my flesh remains, needing to be put to death over and over (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5).
I pray and worry over things, and as soon as God comes through, I go on to the next worry. Now that I have a healthy baby, I worry about keeping him alive. Now that we've returned safely from our road trip, I'm onto the next fear.
When will my heart ever be grateful to my Provider if I keep this up?
When will I finally rest in the knowledge of His goodness?
For He is good after all. And He promises that He works all things for the good of those who love Him. But do we have eyes to see this good?
Consider this verse:
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." Romans 8:28-29Could it be that if we loved God more and embraced what He calls "good" and HIS purposes for us--being conformed to the image of Jesus--"all things" in life would be fodder for thanksgiving?
What if God's "good" for us involves a certain amount of pressure, for what thing is "conformed" to another image without pressure? Can we be thankful even under pressure today knowing that it makes us more like the Son?
When we let God define our good, and give Him thanks, our hearts become positioned to see EVERY BLESSING.
We've been singing "Ever Be" around the house and at church lately (or as Anna calls it "Never Be"). Let's sing it out to our faithful God today!