Conntecting the Dots

Thankful?!

Hey, guess what? This month I’m the featured “Truth to Go” teacher on 100 Huntley Street. Check out  www.crossroadstv.ca for scheduled listings or to watch these devotional segments online (click on “”Watch the Program”).

Here’s the second segment…..

The word “agenda” means: a list or plan of things to be done or accomplished. That’s what I had – an agenda. And when it fell apart, I felt anything but thankful!

It began the day my eldest daughter and I left home to take her to college nearly a thousand miles away. I’d looked forward to having fun with her on this trip: We’d talk and listen to our favorite CDs. Stay overnight at a hotel with a hot tub. Spend two days visiting Grandma and Grandpa, and finally arrive at the college on registration day. I’d also looked forward to this trip as a welcome break at the end of a very busy summer.

But nothing went as planned. Our car’s transmission blew before we even left town. We limped to a fix-it shop where the mechanic said, “The car will be ready in three days.” 

Three days? So much for a leisurely trip and quality time. I managed to remain positive in public, but I poured out my heart to the Lord in private.

You knew I wanted to spend relaxed time with my daughter enroute to college—is that too much to ask? Besides, I’m tired. I need a rest. Is that a selfish request? I clutched my plans like a little kid squeezing a favorite toy, and cried, “Mine!”

I’ll admit it. I let my disappointment dictate my response—I threw a pity party, and the only guest was me. That’s when God began a fix-it job in my heart. “In everything give thanks,” He gently reminded me.

Giving thanks for losing that opportunity and for a blown transmission was the last thing on my agenda. I tried to ignore Him, but the Holy Spirit wouldn’t quit. “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus,” He said.

I had a choice. I could either follow my feelings, or follow God’s instructions for living. I chose the latter. It wasn’t easy – I had to ask Him to help me see past my disappointment and express gratitude even though I didn’t feel like it. He answered, and peace filled my heart.

No doubt you’ve experienced situations that left you disappointed, anxious, or even angry. Perhaps your job required moving to a different city but your house didn’t sell before you had to leave, and your finances were stretched tight as a result. Maybe you had high hopes for your kids, but they chose a different path. Perhaps your best attempts at mending a broken relationship didn’t work. 

No matter what happens, we’re to give thanks. At times that hardly seems possible, but it is. The key is found in Ephesians 5:18-20. These verses say, “Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Giving thanks no matter what is a command, not an option. And God, in His faithfulness, gives us everything we need to do it. When we let the Holy Spirit, rather than our emotions, control us, we’re able to do what He says, and then we reap the benefits.

The next time your agenda changes unexpectedly, remember….“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”     

 

 

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