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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for What?

Have you ever been thankful for your shortcomings? The areas in which you struggle? Strange questions, I know, especially when tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we're focused on all the good things we have to be thankful for.

One of our church members asked the questions I'm asking you and it stopped me in my pre-holiday tracks. Be thankful for financial struggles, selfishness, immaturity? I battle every day not to give into what I know will destroy me.

I've never thought about being thankful for those things.

But I never struggled with anything, how would I know the goodness of the only One who seeks after a prodigal child and runs to him or her?

If I never struggled, how would I experience the grace and forgiveness of God? The compassion that I can do nothing to deserve, the forgiveness that can't be earned, the grace that is poured out when we've done nothing to merit it?

How do we intimately know God rescues us out of the darkest pits unless we've been in one?

I don't know about you, but I don't have to invent pits or problems. I can name my weaknesses, my sins, my failures.

I can't say I'm thankful for them either. I'd rather be mature, responsible, gentle and, well... better.

I am thankful those sins and weaknesses were all nailed to the cross and I don't have to atone for them.

I'm thankful those deep pits and black problems have forced me to my knees to experience God in ways I would have missed unless they were all I had.

I'm thankful these things I struggle with here on earth won't follow me to heaven.

I'm thankful that God has delivered me from sins that easily entangled me decades, months, days ago. And He promises to continue the good work in me and in you until the day we're face to face with Him forever.

I'm thankful I've had to struggle. It's made me human. It's made me face how desperately I need God. It's made me see how small I am and how infinitely big and powerful God is.

He is our reason for thanks giving. He knows we are but dust. He knows every sin, every thought, every dark pit we've faced....

And He loves us still.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

Psalm 107

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

2 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—

those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

3 those he gathered from the lands,

from east and west, from north and south.

4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,

finding no way to a city where they could settle.

5 They were hungry and thirsty,

and their lives ebbed away.

6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

7 He led them by a straight way

to a city where they could settle.

8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

9 for he satisfies the thirsty

and fills the hungry with good things.

In all things, whoever you are and whatever you've done or not done...give thanks to the Lord. He is good. His love endures forever.

Giving thanks... for the good, the struggles, and everything in between,



Lisa Petrarca said...

I'm thankful that through all of my struggles and shortcomings, I've learned to have peace in the midst of the storms...FINALLY!

You have a beautiful blog!

Amy Wallace said...

Thank you, Lisa, for your kind words and for sharing your heart.

Peace in the midst of storms is an amazing gift of God.

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