I wrote this two weeks ago… hence the strange references to the future thanksgiving that we just experienced. I hope it in some way enriches you. Thank you for reading.
My mind is traveling towards Thanksgiving as we wrap up work at home in order to travel next week and relax with family. And I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect and be thankful, because “The root of joy is gratefulness… It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful” (David Steindl-Rast, Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer). As we proclaim joy during the coming advent season, it is only proper that we express gratitude for all that God has given.
Personally, this year has been full of discoveries. My eyes have been opened to God, the Giver of all good gifts. The One who provides. The One who loves. I learned all of these things in my head years ago, but God has challenged me to live from them. He asked me to ask great things from Him. And to receive – for once to receive from Him that which He desires to give me.
It does not come easy. False assumptions and understandings have been stripped away and at times I reeled in the pain of disorientation. Even so, clarity has come and brought peace as I step out to trust Him one more time.
My M/O has always been one of responsibility. I am in charge. I am productive. I am self-sufficient. I am. In my being, I have pushed aside the true I AM, insisting I can care for myself. But true Thanksgiving assumes the humility of receiving. Of acknowledging dependence. And of trusting that God gives the best for me.
This year, I asked. And I received. I received exact amounts of money needed. I received affirmation from coworkers, friends, and acquaintances who recognized my value and purpose in our community. I received new friends. I received confidence that in the turmoil of today and the uncertainty of tomorrow I will still stand.
And I continue to ask. I pray for the power “to be able to comprehend what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love.” (Eph 3:16,18) To accept “how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children.” (1 John 3:1) I ask to know that “God is love.” (1 John 4:16)
So, today, I thank God for what He has done for me this past year. And I look forward celebrating to the greatest gift He gives, Emmanuel. God with us.
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Jesus, Matthew 7:7-8