I know Thanksgiving was two weeks ago, but I wanted to share something from my devotional that struck so close to my heart as I read it. And then as Cliff was praying last night it made me think about it all over again.
Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of you circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience - at times, blind obedience. To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.
Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.
I am not in a place to thank my Lord for the circumstances that I am in, but I am able to thank Him for who He is. Along with what He is showing me and how He is working in my life through the current events. It's kind of a fine line of thankfulness, almost a sacrificial thankfulness, there is sadness in my soul and joy in my heart at the same time. In this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas my focus must be on who my God is, it's too much to get wrapped up in the activities and emptiness that I feel at times. My prayer is that thankfulness will fill my heart and soul each day, each moment really, and truly realize how wonderful a gift baby Jesus is, better than all the gifts I've ever received.