I had plans today. (Notice the word "had"... it will clue you in to what's coming.) I was super excited about these plans. And this morning as I was getting the boys ready for school, God gently reminded me that I needed to cancel my plans. (Ah, the "had"). I was not happy about this, but I knew He was right. So, I made a phone call to cancel them... and we were both super bummed. But, we did get to chat on the phone (which really did help). And we both knew that the decision to cancel truly was the right thing to do. But it sure did stink!
When I first realized that I had to cancel my plans, I was so frustrated. And my poor boys got the brunt of some of my frustration since they were not being obedient. It was a rough morning! I'm so thankful that we pray in the car each morning and that I was able to apologize for my behavior to both God and my boys. It feels great to know that I'm forgiven!
If I would have chosen to be thankful for God's wisdom up front, instead of choosing frustration... maybe I would have been more patient with the boys. Maybe the morning woulda been smoother. Thankfulness can really make a difference in my attitude. It's just taking some time for me to make "giving thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18) my FIRST reaction. Can any of you relate?
Psalm 50:23 puts an interesting spin on thankfulness: He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.
Have you ever thought about how thanking God in all circumstances is a sacrifice? And not only is it a sacrifice, it honors God too! God recognizes that thanksgiving can be difficult... that thanksgiving can be a sacrifice. And when we choose to sacrifice thank offerings to God, it shows that we are treating God with respect or reverence (1). Pretty amazing stuff to think about! I'm so glad that God understands that it's hard to give thanks sometimes and that He recognizes that it can be a sacrifice. Aren't you?
God is so amazing! His love for us never fails. He never leaves us or forsakes us. We truly are blessed. Thanks for sacrificing thank offerings with me during this experiment!
Tonight, I am thankful for...
1. God's wisdom... even when I don't like the fact that it means canceling my plans
2. Getting my grocery shopping done for the weekend
3. Listening to my seven year old praise God tonight, singing at the top of his lungs without any reservation
4. Two new Christmas magazines waiting to be read
5. Having my parents over for dinner and them joining us for worship tonight
6. My mom helping clean up after dinner so we wouldn't be late for worship
7. Getting my first Christmas card today and the creative efforts that went into making the letter one of clever humor
8. Creative problem solving with my friend and the Excel spreadsheet that laid out a potential solution
9. God knowing that sometimes thanksgiving really is a sacrifice
Here's to 10,000 reasons... Only 6,951 to go...
(1) The Life Application Study Bible, New International Version. (1991). Definition of honor (p. 2463).