It is no secret that recently, times have definitely been trying; we have seen disaster strike - typhoon Pablo left more than a thousand dead. We have seen tragedy disturbing if not shattering what peace was dwelling in Newtown, CT as Adam Lanza killed 26 people, mostly children, before shooting himself. Crisis is coming, closer and closer to home. Personally, I have issues - inner struggles, and responsibilities.
Of course, this isn't the first time I've been in this season of frustration, when everything around me intimidates me. By the grace of God I have learned to take this time to recognize how fragile we are, and how we are desperately in need of God and His unfailing grace and love. I believe that as this point draws closer and closer to home, we are to call upon the name of The Lord with more and more urgency!
As I pondered upon this, and as I saw how my heart and strength fail me, I was led to a passage, a psalm, Psalm 77. In it, David mentions: "in my affliction, I remembered..." No, "This is my anguish; but I will remember the years if the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of The Lord, surely I will remember Your wonders of old."
I took this as a cue for me to take my mind back to recent times, when I literally saw the Lord's goodness work in my life, particularly through ministry. Alas, for some reason these memories I sought came back to me partially, or lacking in 'impact'! "What in the world do I need?!," I thought.
Then, right then and there, I was led to recall another familiar passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus"!
And again, I remembered to "enter His gates with thanksgiving, dwell in His courts with praise"!
So I took my mind off of myself (as I should have much earlier) and began to thank God. Lord, thank You. For this and that. I began typing it down on my phone, and if I could just see myself again at that very moment I could definitely see how God slowly but surely lifted His countenance upon me!
(This is what I typed)
Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, O seed of Abraham His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones! (Psalms 105:4-6 NKJV)
Thank God for life. Thank God for my relationships. Thank God for my family. Thank God for Paola. Thank God for her family. Thank God for the rain and the sun. Thank God for my father's life and legacy. Thank God for my brothers and their thoughtfulness. Thank God for my nephews and nieces. Thank God for my camera, for my laptop. Thank God for this iPhone. Thank God for all these material blessings, but thank God also for putting me in check and graciously bringing me eyes back on Him! Thank God for life in Christ, and for changing me! Thank God for all the vices I no longer have any obligation to! Thank God for health and recovery and restoration! Thank God, thank God for salvation and love and grace! Thank You, Lord, for there are just so many things to thank You for, and as we do so, indeed, we remember Your goodness!
Wow.. That's what we need to have with every day. How can we hope to conquer if we only focus on our situations? How can we direct our focus from the problem to the Solution?
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)
Thank God for all the situations I'm in. Thank God for allowing me to go through these situations, and thank God for loving me through it all... Thank You, Lord, for picking me up when I fall, hearing me when I call! Thank You, Lord, for encouraging me and for edifying me by Your Spirit, each and every time! Walang mintis, Lord, Ang galing po Ninyo! Halleluyah!
Thank You, Lord, for my mom and her thoughtfulness as well. Thank You for Manang Irene and her help and loyalty to our household. Thank You for Charlotte and Harlene, and Melvin and Israel; thank You, Lord, for this family. Thank You for this house and the blessings we have inside! Thank You for running water and electricity! Thank You for space to move and to work out! Thank You, Lord, for our dogs. Thank You for Pearl, Jade, Eyebrow, Shaggy, Snowball, and Duchess! Praise You, Lord!
Thanking God is a great way to start recognizing the goodness of The Lord in the past and in the present. Truly, by His grace we live, and by His grace we are definitely blessed. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace.
This is what I want to share, in a nutshell. Actually, I'm going to just repeat that verse:
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalms 100:4 NKJV)
God bless and keep you.