Not Forgetting Thanksgiving in the Times of Prosperity

Over these past years, God has challenged my heart to look to Him in honest thanksgiving, in spite of many difficult circumstances. I have been learning that as I allow him, God gives me a heart of joy and thankfulness for the good in my life, regardless of what pain I face. Many times He has asked me to offer up the sacrifice of praise instead of  choosing the sin of complaints. Today it is with deepest joy that I offer Him the sacrifice of praise instead of the sin of complacency or even worse idolatry.

When my circumstances are tragic I find that worshiping God in my brokenness leads to a deeper trust that He is in control, that He is good, and that He does good for me.  Without that worship, without that thankfulness, I sink into the pit of self-pity. On the other hand when my circumstances are beyond amazing I find that worshiping God leads me to a place of acknowledging Him, not His gifts as my ultimate source of joy. Without that worship, without that thankfulness, I become complacent and demanding, sinking into the pit of idolatry–finding my ultimate joy and expectation in the blessings He gives rather than Christ himself.

God called the Israelite nation to set up memorials and establish holidays to commemorate the major miracles He performed on their behalf. With this rich spiritual tradition the Israelites were to pass on stories from generation to generation of God’s hand in their lives. Some might think our family would want to forget the suffering of the past few years. And there was a time when I thought the best thing would be to put it behind us. I have even wondered if Roman might be young enough not to have to remember the years of separation from his dad. But recently I have realized that instead of forgetting, we should commemorate the end of this portion of our sojourn on earth and establish a family “memorial” that will serve as a regular reminder to us of God’s amazing love and faithfulness.  Remembering–not dwelling–simply remembering so that our hearts turn with joy to our Savior for His amazing work on our behalf.

October 4 will forever be a day of annual celebration in our family as we commemorate Joel’s homecoming after a three and a half year absence. It will be a memorial, a reminder of the separation we suffered, and of God’s faithful provision to bring us back together as a family.  We have walked out of the valley and into the sunshine. And we will not forget to thank Him in this time of prosperity for His faithful love.

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