Sunday, September 16, 2012

Giving thanks

I don’t think my faith has ever been tested quite to the extent that it’s being tested right now. Three days this week—Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday—I literally shook my fists at God. I screamed. I questioned His goodness, His faithfulness. And I yelled, “Enough!” Enough is enough. I could rattle off a dozen “unfair” things in my life right now—miracles I’ve begged for, requests I’ve petitioned Him for—none of which is happening.

But then I remember an important truth You taught me. Eucharisteo. Thankfulness precedes the miracle. Eucharisteo. He broke the bread. And gave thanks. And then sacrificed himself—His willingness to die so that I might live. Not only am I reminded that this life is about more than the here and now, but also sometimes the choice of thanks precedes the miracle. Sometimes the choice of thanks is in the middle of the hardest hour.

We choose to give thanks even before the miracle. We choose the hard thanks. We choose, instead, a life of thankfulness. 

And a life of thankfulness remembers all that I have. An attitude of thankfulness remembers the miracles He has performed when it doesn’t feel like He hears my prayers at all. I short change God when the moment he doesn’t perform, I accuse Him of unfaithfulness; I count the miracle as lost. But the truth is I can attest to a lot of prayers He has answered. Miracles big and small He has performed. And usually, the miracle is when I least expect it or when His timing is better than I could have planned.

My faith is weak, my unbelief, strong, and my view of God, small when I am quick to be angry for all that He hasn’t done. Oh how I lose sight of all that He has done.

Today—my family drove 45 miles, the boys crammed in the third row seats, to help decorate my office and see “my world” in Plainview. Today—the dean of my department, my new colleague and friend came up to the school to say “Hi” and meet my family. Today alone I am reminded of His goodness. Today I am reminded: I am blessed.