Friday, November 25, 2011

Real Thanks vs Contrived Thanks

Last Year, fall deco leapt out of the Thanksgiving box in plenty of time.  This year, I couldn't find it; couldn't be bothered to take time to really look.

I loved Roberta's "Kernels of Corn" thanksgiving declaration last night. She said she was grateful for her Lord Jesus who died on the cross for all our sins. At 94 years, raised as an observant Methodist in America's heartland, she didn't know what a relationship with Christ was until age 70. Now she counts Jesus as her dearest friend, and her thanks unto Him was deeply authentic, deeply real.

Then there was my contrived thanksgiving. Butted up against an uncomfortable circumstance, I know I am to be thankful for it. Scripture commands that "In all things give thanks..." so I declared my intended thanks, tears welled up from the internal conflict, and I grasped for some grain of hope that I could actually love my LORD in the midst of tHis uncomfortable situation. Shallow, childish, not so honoring to God.

It's always a good idea to struggle in prayer over a trial before committing to a declaration that might not yet be real... Roberta's dear faith has been proved. Mine's in flux. Today, I am thankful that the LORD knows how to expose those who know Him well, and those who are simply playing at it.

Hero Dad found the missing box at zero hour, but too late
to bother opening up and looking inside until lights out.  

Once the guests had gone and cocoa was poured, out came the "100 Things We're Thankful For" list I meant to bring out at dinner. No one thought to add 1Thessalonians Chapter 5, so I will.

Now we have 101 things to be Thankful for.

"...Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophesies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. 

Avoid every kind of evil.  May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it..."

Fall victorious, 
handsome, glorious, 
sweater on and braced for chill;

Sober Bringer of the seasons,
Give me heart 
To want your will.

Fix my mind to want what you want;
remove my preference
For what's ill.

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