With Thanksgiving fast approach Pastor is doing a three week series, "Thanks, Giving it!". Toda's message talked about God has told us in His Word, the Bible - to Always give thanks for everything and in all situations. Pastor led us in a work out of Bible aerobics to emphasize his point and the importance of being thankful, ALL the time, not just in November.
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As Pastor spoke I reflected on the tragedy that stands out in my mind - the abduction of my sister. As I thought of this I remembered the feelings and emotions when we were in the heat of those first minutes, hours and days. I wasn't giving thanks and had no desire to do so in the future. Yet God is faithful and didn't give up on me and through the Holy Spirit continued to work in my heart. Thank goodness!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Sixteen years later I am still learning to thank God in all circumstances - thanking Him always! I will say this is an easier task and have come to recognize if this weren't true I would still be the angry and grudge-holding girl I was the day my sister disappeared.
2 Corinthians 12:5,10
I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My weakness was living my life without my sister and good friend - living life as an only child (in a sense) instead of having that other half of my brain to complete my thoughts and plans.
YET when I'm always thanking God for everything in all circumstances - my weaknesses are made strong. If my sister hadn't been abducted I may not being using my gift to write in the same manner.
I may be weak and struggle day to day with the daily hardships and difficulties yet starting each day praising God for who He is and thanking Him for what he has done - helps to make the journey much easier.
Pastor stated, "Disaster leads to blessing!" At first this may seem like the icing on a cake yet it is so much deeper. It is challenging to be thankful in the midst of disaster yet throughout the journey or at the end of it - a thankful heart will have a blessing of healing and joy to share with others.
Today I choose to thank God for the blessings I have in my life today that would not have been there had my sister not been abducted. Please don't mistake me - I love my sister and would never wish this yet it has happened and I choose to focus on the positives since. I pray you are able to be thankful in your hardships, disasters and persecutions. Imagine if everyone chose to live