by Heather Bock
Thank You, God, for this beautiful day. Thank You for the amazing sunset that ended it. Thank You for the house we live in…although, hold on…I’m not so thankful for the expensive problem we have with drainage right now–water that runs right under our driveway, creating a tunnel that threatens the integrity of our concrete. Please help us to figure out what to do about it. Thank You for our kids, but wait a second, God, these kids are driving me crazy–can You please help me teach them to obey somehow…before our cats are suffocated from over-loving squeezes?
Before I know it, as I spend time thanking God, I find that I’ve veered into supplication. I find nothing inherently wrong in this–prayer can be as free-flowing as conversations with a friend–but sometimes my requests begin to drown out my thanksgiving. Sometimes I never turn back.
It’s easy to thank God wholeheartedly for something that’s pretty much perfect. Wow, God, that worship concert was fantastic. I felt Your Holy Spirit here, and I am in awe. But what about those parts of life that are not all good in my eyes? How about those parts that are, in my opinion, plain bad?
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” —Philippians 4:8
What if instead of dwelling on the problems, I asked God for help with them and turned immediately back to thanksgiving for the good: that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, reputable, excellent, and worthy of praise?
The good is there, you know. It’s there to be found by those who search, those who notice.
That drainage problem, for example? Because of it, Greg and I had the opportunity to hire my ESL student’s cement-mixing husband.
The disobedience of my children when it comes to cuddly kittens? It’s a chance to both lean on my Father for help–to realize that I don’t have it all together as a parent and need Him–and to teach my kids more about what God requires of us. In addition, it’s good to be able to give grace when I have been given so much myself. On top of that, it’s a blessing to be able to teach them about bullying when it’s about something smaller than them rather than someone smaller.
What else? Where else can I find something worthy of praise in the midst of my daily life?
The slow car in front of me when I’m in a hurry? Thank You, God, for this car forcing me to slow down. Now I can’t be tempted to speed!
The pile of work I have for my job, overwhelming me? Thank You, God, that I am being paid to do this work. This will be a big help for our bills.
When my cats throw up on the bathroom floor? Thank You, God, that they don’t throw up on the carpet like our old cat used to do. Thank You that after cleaning it up, my bathroom floor is now spotlessly clean.
This Thanksgiving, be thankful for the big, almost perfect blessings in your life. Thank God for family, home, and a job. However, also search into the annoyances, the everyday inconveniences, and dwell on those things, as well. Find the true, the good, and the beautiful, and thank God.
Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash
Ellie Claire Journal Giveaway Winners
I had a lot of people enter the Ellie Claire journal drawing, and for good reason! These are quality journals. I chose randomly among all those who entered, including those who entered more than once, and the two winners are Shakeia Rieux and A. Kadre. Congratulations! I will try to contact both of you in another way, too, but if you see that you’ve won, please contact me at heather.bock[at]glimpsesofjesus.com. If I don’t hear from you in a week, I will pick a new winner. Thank you to everyone who joined the contest!