But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path,
I will reveal to you the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:23 NLT)
I’ve just returned from a two-week mission trip that provided lots of opportunity to practice giving sacrificial thanks. The first came when our flight was canceled as we waited to board. “Thank You, Lord, that this was no surprise to You,” I said.
Running through the Toronto airport for 20 minutes to catch our connecting flight prompted me to pray, “Thank You, Lord, for helping me be fit enough to do this!”
Then came that flight’s two-hour delay after boarding. “Thank You Father, that we don’t have to make another connecting flight,” I said as we sat on the tarmac awaiting take-off.
The most memorable opportunity came when someone discovered bedbugs in one room at the hotel where we were hosting an evangelistic family camp. “Thank You, Lord, that the hotel manager took immediate and drastic action to prevent an infestation. And thanks for maintaining calm when the manager broke the news to our campers.”
Traveling home meant rising at 4:30 AM to catch a shuttle van at 6:00 AM to Budapest, Hungary. When departure time came, the driver turned the key in the ignition but nothing happened. He tried several more times. Nothing. “The battery is dead,” he said.
To this news, my thanksgiving sounded like this: “Thank You, Father, that You’re in control of this delayed departure. You know the amount of time required for us to check in for an international flight and we can trust You to get us there on time.”
The driver phoned his boss to bring jumper cables. When the boss still hadn’t arrived 20 minutes later, he tried again to start the van. This time the engine roared to life. “Thank You, Lord!”
When circumstances don’t go as we plan, we can either grumble or give thanks. Grumbling is our natural bent even though we all know it does no good, right? But giving thanks shifts our focus from our circumstances to the God who rules over them. It sets our mind to rest and frees us to watch with anticipation to see what God will do on our behalf.
What circumstances in the past week have provided you with opportunities to give sacrificial thanks?
“Father, thank You for providing us with opportunities to learn how to express gratitude no matter what. Help us to respond well. Amen.”
BTW – a hearty thank-you to all who prayed for me while I was on this trip. I’m certain your prayers helped me choose gratitude over grumbling.
#bgbg2 #devotions #gratitude #Thankfulness