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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, November 19, 2012


“16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)

There are three more days until Thanksgiving. Some look forward to a wonderful time with family and friends. Others believe their day of celebration won't begin until the last serving dish is placed on the dining room table. Some people believe they have nothing to be thankful for.

The eastern seaboard was ravished by the super storm not many weeks ago. Many of them are still out of their homes. They have not had the basic necessities of food, water, shelter, utilities or clothing. At this point, turkey, dressing and cranberry salad seem out of the question. For them, Thanksgiving:  the celebration and/or the attitude, may be rejected. In the hole in the heart were Thanksgiving lived, anger, hopelessness, helplessness and fear may have moved in and set up residence. But, Paul tells us in 1st Thessalonians, we are to give thanks in all circumstances, not just when things are going well.

All of our lives have periods when storm clouds gather, when darkness hovers overhead and spills its deadly deluge, drowning out our comfort, safety and life-giving shelter. That may come in the form of a hurricane, fire, the death of a parent or spouse, or the ugly, family destroying specter of divorce. Whatever our storm, new life comes with the dawn. Our ability to embrace life after the storm depends upon how willing and quickly we begin to express thankfulness.

I would like to give you a prescriptive, healing message to use to jumpstart your hope–loving heart, allowing it to beat freely again. Repeat it three times, six times a day.

"Praise the Lord God Almighty, for he has brought me through the wilderness of my soul and has planted my feet on higher ground."

Each time you repeat the message set, know that you have sowed it in your heart. Then, go about your day knowing that God has blessed you and that the seeds of gratitude and hope are growing. As your thankful heart grows, pass on the message of gratitude to others. It will multiply and return to you in greater measure. Live a life of thanksgiving that you may truly live, every day, the life the Lord God has intended for you. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, love divine, open wide this grateful heart of mine. Holy is your name, the name of your son Jesus and the Holy Spirit that gives wisdom and discernment. Fill my life with your spirit and your gentle gift of gratitude. No matter my circumstances, I have things for which to be thankful, yet I have chosen to want more no matter my blessings. Though I have shelter and clothing, I long for a bigger home. Though I have a spouse and children, I desire a more perfect family. Though I have lost everything, I do not give thanks for the gift of your son and his sacrifice and redeeming love. Though all has been removed and I am left with zero, you Lord dwell in the void and it is holy ground, yet I choose not to begin again. Forgive me when I dwell on my loss and refuse to accept my future. Today and this week, I choose to live a life of Thanksgiving. Let me see your blessings all around me, in the smallest places. May I have the privilege of passing joy and gratitude on to others. In the name of Jesus, your son and my redeemer, I pray.  Amen”

Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp  

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