Give Thanks…And Receive
By Ken and Jan Merop
Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends is a tradition we embrace.
The food of choice is usually turkey and all the trimmings.
But in our Italian tradition, ethnic foods are added to the feast.
My Aunt Sue rearranged her living room and dining to hold several beautifully set long tables so family and friends could all fit. Antipasto, salad, and bread were followed by lasagna. By the time the turkey made its appearance we were groaning.
But, that wasn’t the end. Pies and cakes followed. And just when we were all so stuffed we could hardly move nuts and fruit appeared.
The food alone was a reason for giving thanks.
But what if such bounty is not affordable? What if chipped plates, unmatched glasses, and the barest of necessities are what is set before us? Is it any less reason to give thanks?
In the Bible, we are instructed to give thanks in every circumstance. Not necessarily for every circumstance…but in everything. In other words, even when times may not be plentiful; even when things may look bleak; even then, give thanks because God wants us to have thankful hearts. He responds to such hearts with His presence and guidance.
When we turn to God with thankful hearts even amid troubles, our eyes become fixed on Him instead of the circumstances. When that happens, we see more clearly His hand of provision or touch of comfort.
But if we focus on the problems, anxiety creeps in and everything becomes larger than life.
I panicked when my husband, Ken, wasn’t able to continue living with us in our first home because of a mold situation that only affected him. Anxiety set in and robbed me of peace and I found it hard to concentrate and make wise decisions.
When a friend asked how I was doing, I responded, “Well, under the circumstances…”
He then replied that I shouldn’t look for God through my circumstances, but look at my circumstances through God’s perspective. As my focus changed, peace returned, and together with the help of generous friends, solutions fell into place and we rejoiced in God’s provisions.
That’s why Philippians 4: 6, NKJV, is so meaningful when it says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
So, give thanks, and receive God’s promises. Selah
Open God’s book, the Bible.
It is His love letter to you and me.
Read with open heart, eyes, and ears.
Discern with a loving and willing spirit
in tune with God’s Holy Spirit.
The Light will come on and illumine you.
Seek Him as the shepherds and wise men did long ago.
“And you will seek Me and find Me,
when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29: 13
Ken and Jan love residing in the mountains of Avery County. Visit Jan’s new blog @pauseandconsider.net, Journeying with Jan. Ken’s photos can be seen at kenmeropphotography.com.
You can read more good Christian news from Ken and Jan HERE.