November 26, 2010

Thankful Hearts

October through December is my favorite time of year...fall, cool weather, special holidays and time with family and friends. I also appreciate the changed in my daily routine that allows me to pause and reflect on the year that is passing. I was blessed enough to have two Thanksgiving meals on Thursday this year! I went to Brookhaven for a delicious lunch at Kern's house then came back to Madison to eat dinner at Gran Fran's! It was a very special and fun day.

Before I went to Brookhaven, I started my day at First Pres for our annual Thanksgiving service. The scripture reading was from Psalm 30: "Joy Comes with the Morning."

Thanksgiving comes from a Biblical perspective on life. It can be hard to remain totally thankful when we are going through phases of prosperity because we tend to believe that we are self reliant. In verse 6, David admits, "As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”" Being truly thankful means that you recognize the things that you love come from the Lord. There are also more to trials than what meets the eye. Sometimes our trials are results of our own sin, while other times they are completely out of our control. However, either way, trials are intended to produce spiritual maturity in us. This is one of the parts of Christianity that blows me away--we have a God who can use any situation in our lives to mold us into his likeness. What an awesome God!

Verse 5 reminds us: "For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Trouble is an overnight guest for the Christian--yes, it will come and we are to expect hard times in this life (John 16:33) but joy is a resident in the Christian's life.

We all have much to be thankful for. No matter what we are going through, there is a God who is working his eternal plan for our good. We also have the freedom to worship, thanks to a band of people from England who had faith that they could cross an ocean and establish a new life for themselves and their descendants. We live in a country that is safe and where we can have our own opinions. Let us not forget our troops this holiday season. They sacrifice so much to keep us free.

What are you thankful for? Take some time and really think it through. I pray that God will make me thankful not only for the good things in my life, but also for the trials he sends my way because I know it will all be for good.

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