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Giving Thanks in Every Season

19 Nov Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Giving Thanks in Every Season
Giving Thanks in Every Season
 

Giving Thanks When Its Easy

We have all read books and listened to sermons about having joy and giving thanks through devastating circumstances.  We have heard great stories of how God has changed hearts and captivated souls in the midst of tragedy.  But what about before that, when things are easy?  Can we love God and live life through the mundane and the routine with that same depth of joy and thanks giving?

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Sometimes it feels that fresh in my mind.  Then the weight of reality sets in heavy.  I am not sure if it was part of a sermon series, a pastor’s comment, a line in a book I read or verse from the Psalms.  No matter where it came from, it was God deepening our love for Him and preparing us for the journey ahead… through a simple prayer.

Each evening before bedtime, my wife Kelly, Natalie, who was two at the time, our three month old McKenna Joy and I would all curl up together on Natalie’s bed to pray and read the Bible.  Since McKenna’s birth in July of that year our family prayer had changed.  God gave us new awareness of His goodness and grace.  We continually gave Him thanks for all the things we had (family, work, home, health, stuff, etc.) recognizing that the blessings He gave us had nothing to do with us.  He is good and wise and loving… before we are ever obedient or before we even say, “Thank you.”

And here is the crazy part… we also prayed that God would give us grateful hearts even if we did not have all those things and our circumstances changed.

Giving Thanks When its Hard

It was the beginning of November five years ago when we took McKenna to the hospital.  It was there that we discovered she had a genetic disorder that was aggressive and terminal.  It was there that our prayer continued for a whole month.

We were surprised and overjoyed to continue that prayer as we were able to leave the hospital and care for McKenna at home.  We were humbled and blessed to keep that prayer as a family for three and half more months.  Over that time God continued to bless us, showing us His goodness and love which was not dependent on us or our circumstances.

Kelly, our daughter Natalie, and I continue to give God thanks… for His goodness and love.  For making us a family and for a time, giving us our daughter McKenna Joy.

In Everything, Give Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, I encourage you to praise God for who He is, recognize that He is good and loving and give Him thanks no matter what your circumstances may be.  Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good and His loves endures forever.

I wrote this prayer/poem around Thanksgiving while we were in the hospital with McKenna.  Thank you for the privilege of sharing it with you…

You have cared for me as your child,

Yet taught me to be a father.

On a road so lonely,

In the midst of a crowded street.

I see only you,

Your voice guides me.

I have been marked and i stand ready,

For I am not my own.

As Abraham raising his hand,

As Isaac laying quiet and still.

You are my full portion,

The object of my faith.

Grace upon grace,

Your glory, my joy.

 

 

Ben Myers
Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp
Ben Myers has served as the Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA for the past 13 years. Arrowhead is a ministry committed to discipleship through its programs for adults with developmental disabilities, missions opportunities for youth groups, and mentoring of High School and College students. Ben also teaches as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and holds degrees from Cairn University and Baptist Bible Seminary.