I owe my few readers an apology.
My post yesterday (Slamming into a Wall of Discouragement: Press On) was nothing short of a rant couched in the “right biblical words” to say. That doesn’t mean that I don’t dearly believe and hold on to the scripture that I shared with you yesterday. Nor does it mean that I don’t believe that we are called to press on. But it does mean that I let the self-pity of being ill and the frustrations of the day take my eyes off of the only one to whom I can go to for strength and peace and joy. (Matthew 14:30-31)
The funny thing is, this rant came right in the middle of my attempt to focus this month on Thanksgiving. Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been posting a scripture verse about Thanksgiving each day on my Facebook wall. These verses come straight from my study and prayer materials that I use every morning. I wanted to focus each day of this month on the many, many things that I and my crew have to be thankful for. During my prayer time I’ve returned to my once-neglected “thankful” list, a list where I have at different times listed the things that God has blessed me with. There are many. So very many. My list is overflowing.
This morning during my time with God, I was reminded of all that my God has done for me. And it brought tears to my eyes, because how can I be so focused on the petty problems of fevers and heaters that go out and phone calls from school, when these things are just a part of life, and my God has given me the gift of eternal life through the sacrifice of His son on the cross? Conviction is a painful thing. Conviction is a necessary thing to bring me back to Philippians 4:4:
Those of you who know my story in greater detail, know how gracious God has been to me and my crew. I shouldn’t even be here in this world, yet here I am, working hard to stand fast. (1 Thess 3:8-10) My story is too immense to share here. But here are pieces of it: When we had no home, Seaford Baptist graciously provided my crew and I the parsonage to live in, and then Zion Methodist allowed us to rent their parsonage, providing safe homes in my kid’s school district. Time and time again, when I’ve not had the money to pay a bill, God has provided. God has provided transportation. And now He has provided me a job where I can work from home. I am not one to voice extemporaneous praise, but How Can I Keep from Singing His Praise? If I don’t praise Him, the very rocks will cry out in praise!
Today I am thankful for these words from Paul. I want to echo Paul. He says a couple of different places that I know of “watch me and learn”. And I want to. I want to watch Paul and learn. I want to watch my Jesus and learn. I even want to watch crazy Peter and learn. Paul has this to say about Thanksgiving:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
This doesn’t mean that the days aren’t hard. They are. And I am so very tired. But as I sit here bundled up against the cold I am acutely aware that my God has and will supply all my needs, even the need for this blasted furnace to get fixed.
I am grateful for you, my friends, who daily pray for me and my crew. I depend on your prayers. They are vital to me. That encouragement alone is so tremendous that I cling to it for dear life; your prayers, scripture work and above all of course, my God. Please, please continue to pray for us. Know that you are loved and there is much thanksgiving in the Duffer household for each of you.