This is the time of year when the light of day falls backward and some seem to linger in the darkness – especially with the traditional emphasis on November gratitude, December joy and the hope of new beginnings with the turn of the year. Maybe.
But not everyone is there – look in the dark and you’ll find them.
Being thankful is actually for the days that aren’t great – the ones that are tough when we aren’t sure we’ll make it through. It’s not about an empty platitude about gratitude, but what we can see when we look at life backwards. Awesome journey.
Open to me the gates of righteousness I will go through them (in these November moments) And I will praise the Lord ~ Psalm one-eighteen
Autumn is like seeing through technicolor grace to uncover the dark places in life as I read Psalm 118 in an old marked up Bible –one with tearful scribings that clutter the margins with names and dates to tell a story of transplants and comas, trauma units and cancer and broken sons and a husband battling for life and manifold-more. And the holy Word has talked me off the edge countless times because there is power and comfort in God’s voice. Just listen . . .
Since I journal, it’s all there. Because He was all here.
I called on the Lord in my distress and the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place :5
It’s better to put trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man :8
I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord, for He has chastened me severely but has not given me over to death. :17, 18
And so we: Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. For His mercy endures forever. :29
I’m grateful to be a part of a bunch of Jesus-lovin’ girls for many years that meet on a Thursday morning to gather around God’s Word. In our Precept Bible study, we’ve been in the gospel of John. It’s all about testimony. Hard stories of the ostracized, lame, blind, the desperate in darkness and near death. We’ve all been there in some way and so we’ve encouraged one another by sharing when we were . . . or maybe still are. But along comes a compassionate Savior and makes their story different. Ours too.
So what if abundance isn’t about having a good story but one to share that helps another through their own? Testimony is what God has done for us that we can’t do for ourselves.
If you’re part of a small group, stress the importance of personal testimony. We need something to hang on tight to today. They need to know their story and we need to hear it, so we can be living on the thanks. As we pour out on others, we exalt a faithful Father and bring encouragement to a soul that feels weary. Especially when giving thanks seems impossible.
May we make it possible by telling our story of gratitude ~ We all have one or a thousand living in a house of miracles.
And He is on every page – and in every room . . .