I am reading the book, "One Thousand Gifts," by Ann Voskamp. It is quite amazing and has begun to pierce through the shroud of anger and bitterness I've wrapped around myself. There is way too much to write about but one of the things that has jumped off the pages and settled itself into the tender parts of my heart is this question and corresponding thoughts:
~Why have I never learned the language of "thanks in all things" fluently? Maybe because I have never PRACTICED! Practiced until it became second nature, first skin. Practice is the hardest part of learning. (Yes, memories of training to get off a jump shot after running full-tilt down the court is a good reminder!)
Practice. Hammer. Practice. Hammer. Practice. Hammer.
I make plans. They get disrupted. I dream. It is not fulfilled in the way I imagined. I grumble. I complain. I ask, "Why?" (Ask? Demand is probably more like it.) It is all about me. All about chaos and unpredictability and disorder and unsettledness. Do I worship? Ha. Do I give thanks? There are so many examples in the Bible of thanks being given during very difficult circumstances followed by a blessing received. "On the night He was betrayed, Jesus broke bread and GAVE THANKS..." When we empty ourselves of our own expectations, when we are able to give thanks as a way of talking to the Lord and acknowledging His work, when we make room for Him to give us that which He has specifically orchestrated, we are often blown away by the BIGNESS of His dreams. They put my small plans to shame. And...even if my disrupted hopes aren't replaced by large, flashy, awe-inspiring blessings, there is still value in learning the language of thankfulness. God draws near as He hears His child worship Him.
I've enjoyed thinking about this as I imagine my weak, rusty, disintegrating foundation nails being replaced by sharp, strong, glistening nails...maybe a little thicker and a little wider than the previous ones as I learn how to "give thanks in all circumstances" so I am more securely attached to my Abba Father.