Thankfulness

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(source: Google images)

I have learned that thankfulness could be manifested in different ways depending on a person’s circumstance. For someone who is being showered by God’s wonderful blessings – good health, wealth, and spiritual prosperity – it would be completely normal to see him/her leaping, bounding, and singing praises to God in overflowing thanksgiving. But to one who is suffering physically or living in utter poverty, how does one give thanks?

In such circumstances, it is still possible to live in daily thanksgiving. I have learned to live this way through these years of hard trials. I have developed the practice of running to Jesus my Savior whenever I feel sorrowful and a heavy load weighs down on me. A friend’s actions have hurt me or a loved one’s words have wounded my heart – I run to Him for comfort, healing, and grace to forgive. I have always found solace throwing myself at His feet, totally abandoned and weeping like the child He cherishes. It is a great privilege.

But there are days when I feel that the very One I depend on is the one who I feel is holding back the deep desires of my heart. There are days, while I go through difficult physical discomforts and suffering, that I think that I get exactly the opposite answers to the very prayers I cry out. That my fervent dreams and longings which I beg the Lord for – I see them being realized and lived by other people.

(I have been fervently praying that I would be strong enough to travel to Canyon Woods this Christmas season where we have a property and our family could have at least a mini vacation. But as the days go by, I feel that my dream is far from being realized and instead of receiving answer to it, I was given some papers by my husband which needed my signature. They are authorization letter and vouchers that our employees need to be able to spend a night in Canyon Woods this December).

As I have told my beloved husband, I have gone through all these emotional afflictions before – being unable to carry my baby and see him being held and carried by a nanny, being unable to be in my daughter’s school events, and a whole lot more – and though they have cut deep into my heart, I have always chosen to give thanks.

But there are some days that all the lessons I have stored, or the verses I have taken to heart, or the many articles I have written to encourage, cannot seem to reach deep into my sorrow, and for a moment I am spiritually paralyzed.

How does one give thanks then? In the hard trials, in the difficult moments, in the presence of anguish – how does one rise and lift up a praise of thanksgiving?

There are moments that I don’t seem to know the answer. But I know that these, too, shall pass. That when the heaviness is lifted up and the eyes are able to see this lovely face of an innocent child, how his eyes grow large and dance as he shows me something wonderful to him; how this young girl speaks to me with that persistence of hers, face squarish and full cheeks flushed from outdoor activities, and how she is so unaware of what’s going through her beloved Mom’s heart and mind  – I know then that there are many things I should be thankful for.

Though I do not leap and bound and shout for joy (for my physical condition constrains me), when relief floods my soul and warmth spreads throughout my heart, I thank the Lord Jesus Christ then – sincerely, deeply, and reverently. For all this is grace.

So I am compelled again to look hard at the manger. Why did the Lord choose such austere surroundings?

Because He’s radically teaching us that what are seen by the eyes are not the ones that really matter in this life, but those that are unseen – love, compassion, humility… These are the things He teaches me and wants me to treasure. And for that I am forever grateful.

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Also in this series:

Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 1: What’s in Your Sock? {Part 1: UNICEF}
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 2: What’s in Your Sock? {Part 2: Warm Christmas}
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 3: The Goodness of the Lord
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 4: Yes and Amen!
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 5: The Way to the Manger
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 6: The Widow and the Fatherless
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 7: “I Must Decrease”

This is linked to Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Women Living Well, Walk With Him Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Brag on God Friday, Spiritual Sundays, Proverbs14verse1

Comments

  1. Thank you, for todays message. Soooooo good, soooooo important, sooooo real. Amen.

  2. Marlene Rees Graef says:

    Thank you Joanie for sending me this !! So vital for me at this time !!

  3. Lory says:

    Oh… I’m forever grateful to Dearest JESUS for all his blessings and one of those things is the life he gives to you^^ I always anticipate the blogs that you’re gonna share with us. I’m learning from it and it always touch my heart. You are a blessing for everyone so i know Dearest JESUS will continue to give you life. Your prayers will be granted. Be strong ^_^ God bless you more.

  4. Sandi says:

    I recently came across your blog and I have been
    blessed by your words….i find myself at the foot
    of the cross laying down my burdens and finding
    comfort from our faithful Father.
    Thank you for your honesty and encouragement.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Sandi, my heart sings with gratitude to the Lord – for blessing you through the words I write and for this grace of connecting with you.
      Wishing you and yours a Most Blessed Christmas!

      Rina

  5. Charlotte says:

    The scripture in II Corinthians is so important to remember. Thank you for the reminder. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and the new year will bring you many blessings.
    Charlotte

  6. gina says:

    again ‘love to see your kids….inspired whenever i visit your blogs……thankful whenever i read your words coming from your heart because it sinks into my inquisitive mind and realizing those things to be thankful for……so many……..everything……yes he who thinks, thanks……..

  7. RinaPeru says:

    Thank you, Gina. I wish both our families ALL THE BEST in 2012!

    Rina

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