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“I am Thanking You Right Now”

Is it just me or do you also feel like this has been a year full of touchy people and shrill voices? I have to pray up before turning on the news and I pray even harder after I watch it. Are words like “nice” and “courtesy” still in the dictionary? I have been “unfriended.” Who would want to unfriend me? I am a nice guy! I am. I promise. My wife and my dogs would vouch for me.

I feel like I have to brace myself for the backlash if I express an opinion, support a cause or make a donation. There is always someone who is going to take offense at the things I support or the things I fail to support. Conflict can be exhausting. It can derail good works and hinder progress.

A thankful heart is the antidote for all that. When God is thanked, no matter what, the slope gets a little slipperier for our spiritual enemies. It signals our recognition of God’s sovereignty. Christ is life. The rest are details. We seem to find a spiritual updraft and are lifted.

I thank God when I have gone two feet or when I have gone a mile. He is God and deserving of gratitude. I thank God when there is an angry knock on my door or a raised voice on the phone. I thank God even when He doesn’t make the sun stand still on a day I have 25 hours of work that He assigned to me. I am cultivating a gratitude born of love and respect for my Father and also for all His other children. I have stopped making their disrespect for me the license for me to disrespect them. I no longer feel their raised voices justify my talking louder.

Thankfulness honors God’s character. It acknowledges God’s authority. It trusts God’s goodness. It squints towards the horizon in faith because help is coming. Thankfulness lets us hope for tomorrow. It lets us see in others their value and potential. A grateful heart can be a sail, can be a compass, can be an antidote, can be a Sabbath.

Remember those disciples who rowed all night and got nowhere until Christ came into the boat and before they knew it they were at their destination? Thankfulness is like that. It makes time to cease being our adversary because thankfulness travels with another virtue- patience.

Don’t wait until people change to be thankful. Do it now. Don’t delay until you feel more like it. Do it now. Don’t wait on public opinion or the outcome of an election. Don’t wait until you get an apology. Be thankful now for all those people and things that have made your life crazy. Just let your heart find His worthiness. Stop rowing and let gratitude lead you.

I have found the following to be an encouragement. Maybe you will as well. As we come fully into this abundant season may the peace of God surpass all understanding and may you find yourself truly thankful to be called His Beloved.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all who belong to you. Know that we are grateful for your faithfulness and your partnership.

Pastor John LaMantia

I Am Thanking You Right NOW

Dear GOD:

I want to thank You for what you have already done.
I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards;
I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better;
I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me;
I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears;
I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves;
I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet;
I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job;
I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief;
I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed;
I am thanking you right now.
I am thanking you because I am alive. I am thanking you because I made it through the day’s difficulties. I am thanking you because I have walked around the obstacles.
I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better.
I’m thanking you because FATHER, YOU haven’t given up on me.

~ Author Unknown

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.   ~1 Thessalonians 5:16