This has been a season of intense vulnerability for me – for reasons I won’t go into here. The details involve other people who did not agree to have their business out on the internet. But this feeling of vulnerability – like the other shoe could drop at any minute – is the reason I chose “rest” for my Word of the Year. I knew I desperately needed to learn to rest in my Savior. Because, unfortunately, this broken world hands us storm after storm.
One of the things God is teaching me this year is that it’s hard to be anxious and in a state of unrest when I’m giving Him an offering of thanksgiving. Gratitude and fear don’t coexist. And yet if you are anything like me, you spend a lot more time feeling anxious or fearful than you do feeling thankful. I’d like to call this a personality flaw, but I’ll just call a thing a thing. This tendency to focus on the “what ifs” and the “wish I hads” is nothing but sin.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1 NIV. There is nothing I lack! If I chose to believe anything else, I deny the truth of God’s Word. I have what I need to be safe and secure. Jesus forgives my darkest parts. And in Him I will always have more than enough. It’s good to be reminded. That’s what this time of year does for me. As I stop and smell the butterball, I take the time to acknowledge and thank Him for the truth that banishes every lie. Doubt and discouragement take a backseat to His glory when I express my gratitude for who He is and what He’s done. I might even kick them out of the car!
Scripture Offering of Thanksgiving
“As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.
22 I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.” Psalm 71:14-24 NIV
Another Offering of Thanksgiving
Perfect rest comes from His perfect grace. Perfect grace comes from a perfect God. And today I thank Him for that grace. And all the marvelous attributes and actions in this Psalm In so doing, I come to understand that rest is not something that I do, but something to believe.
I pray you and yours have a joyous Thanksgiving.
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
I loved reading Barbara Lee Harper’s take on the “word of the year” trend. I never felt the desire for one until two years ago as my family was going through an intense crisis. It almost felt like the word choose me. And the next year I chose a version of the same theme. This year, once again, I have a word that just jumped in my lap. But for me, I know picking a “word for the year” is a season. One I am currently enjoying and learning so much from, but there are so many other ways to engage with our Father. See what you think. Read You Don’t Have to Choose a Word for the Year.
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Lauren Sparks is a wife and mom of 2 daughters – one with special needs – and one bonus son. She lives, worships Jesus, and teaches yoga in Dallas, TX area. She is a contributing author on 3 devotional books, she shares her adventures, victories, and flub-ups from her laptop at laurensparks.net.