Give Thanks For That?
It's the day after Thanksgiving. Now begins Christmas decorating, Black Friday sales, and gearing up for all of the holiday festivities. If we are not careful, we can miss so much of what the Lord is speaking to us regarding thanksgiving because we've blown through it to get on with "tis the season".
Today, I am just pondering with the Lord about being thankful for what didn't happen this past year. No one passed away in our family. We all remained healthy. I am so thankful for that.
Maybe you didn't get the date you wanted with that guy. Maybe you didn't get the job you were hoping for. Maybe the opportunity that you just knew would be perfect for you didn't happen. Maybe the dream you had for yourself didn't materialize. Can we be thankful for these things? I know you are thinking, "I need to give thanks for THAT???"
Sometimes we are able to see what would have happened if some of these things had occurred, and we are literally SO thankful they didn't happen! The guy ended up not being who you thought he was. The job and the company tanked and had you taken it, you would have been caught in a mess. Had that dream materialized, the chaos it would have developed would have caused issues for years. For those things, it is easy to give thanks.
At other times, we don't see it at all. We don't understand. It makes absolutely no sense to us. We wonder why. Why it didn't happen. Why things didn't turn out the way we thought they would. And yet, why is an invalid question because it makes you an invalid. You are paralyzed in the why.
Why is an invalid question because it makes you an invalid.
The question for us today is that in those confusing things that didn't happen, can we still give God thanks? Can we still be grateful because we know without a shadow of a doubt that our Abba deeply loves us and is so faithful to us? That He can be fully trusted even when we don't understand?
Herein lies a distinguishing characteristic of Christians. It's called meekness. In Blue Letter Bible, it describes meekness as "Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify them, and that He will deliver them in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23)."
Jesus shared with His disciples that He was going to die and be raised back to life in Matthew 20:17-19. In Matthew 26:20-22 He shares that one of His own will betray Him. And while eating the Passover meal, which was all prophecy of Himself, the Bible says that Jesus took the bread, gave THANKS and broke and gave it to His disciples. He was still able to give thanks though He faced betrayal, loneliness, and death.
So today, while it is easy to declare what I am so thankful for, I am also thinking about all the things I am thankful that didn't happen. The things that God knew didn't need to happen. That God, in His love and foreknowledge knew would not be beneficial for me.
Let's thank God for those things.
Happy Day After Thanksgiving, Ya'll. You are loved.