Making My List
The other day I was making a list of things I’m thankful for. The list was about to get lengthy when I stopped to reflect on what I had written–God, my sweet man, our family and friends, good health, our church, my job, this ministry, and more. My thanks didn’t include a perfect life, but rather one that is rich and fulfilling. Things won’t ever be perfect, but they can be pretty wonderful. I’m grateful for the good days, for the ones that run amuck, for the ones that bring setbacks or even those that go sadly wrong. Why? Because life is a mirror of God’s handiwork, with every detail perfectly crafted. And each one of these days presents us with the opportunity to be thankful for every moment.
One blessing I’m particularly thankful for, is an intimate and beautiful group of faith-filled women from across the country. One of the things we do well and daily, is pray for and lift each other up. God so meticulously orchestrated the connections and bound our heartstrings through His love. Thankfully it’s these very ties that allow us to hold one another together and care for the details, both big and small, when life comes calling.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Beauty Among the Ashes
The last couple of months have been hard. Hard for reasons that are unimaginable nor easily understood. One sweet friend, whom I’m blessed to share a birthday with, recently lost her son in a tragic accident. From the minute we received the first message this group has prayed, provided unwavering support and spoken God’s Word over her as she works through the tears and grief, and someday, the hope and healing that only God can provide. Another friend has spent the last couple of weeks, including her holidays, at the hospital with her son trying to find answers and a treatment plan. And still another friend, is focusing on her girl child, who is walking through her own set of health issues. The rest of us are praying for our children to be covered by His protection and grace as some of them make potentially life-changing decisions.
God’s Word tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT), “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
Prayer Warriors to the Rescue
It’s been a prayer fest for weeks, but I’m thankful to have God’s Word to fill my heart with perfect verses of truth and wisdom for guidance. I’m grateful for the prayers and words of encouragement shared by each other. My sisters in faith are prayer warriors through and through and it is a blessing to learn from them and draw on their God-given strength through these not-so-easy times.
We have cried buckets of tears over these past eight weeks, and yet with each new day we continue to encourage, spread joy, pray and stand firm in His Word. In the midst of sadness and grief God gives us just what we need. When we’re exhausted and at wit’s end, He provides rest and comfort. When we falter and fail to take next steps, He picks us up, dusts us off and prompts us to move forward. And when we praise Him in every circumstance, He makes His presence known in a mighty way.
His Word says in Psalm 147:3 (ESV), “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Let Your Faith Diminish Your Doubt
And on days when I feel doubt and negativity trying to creep into my own life, I stand strong. The comparison game tugs at my heart strings to bring discontent, worry and uneasiness. The overwhelming schedule causes anxiety, stress and uncertainty. And the loss of loved ones triggers sadness, heartbreak, and grief. But it’s during these critical moments I choose to double down in prayer and seek His Word, calling on the Scriptures to free me from the muck and miry clay. I’m thankful God doesn’t allow the defeat mindset to last long and I’m even more grateful for God’s truth to emerge victoriously, covering me with protection and grace, and giving me a clear mind to recognize the enemy when he comes calling.
James 1:5-8 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Grateful & Thankful
Simply put, a thankful heart keeps me grounded and grateful. Life changes in the blink of an eye, but it’s through these changes I can praise God and exalt Him in all seasons. His plan is perfect over everything and His Will reigns supreme. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him and I’m thankful for every moment He gives us.
What are you thankful for today? Is there a big or small blessing you haven’t thanked Him for? If so, bow your head right now and pray a prayer of thanksgiving to Him. Jot down a few of His blessings and record in your journal. Reflect on your answers and align them with His Word.
In His Name,