What Do You Have To Be Thankful For?
Aha Moment #1 came to light while reading a children’s book called Josiah’s Gift at our Incredible Life Makeover group for leaders this past Christmas. A delightful adolescent boy traverses through the Christmas season with his family helping a homeless man and sharing food at the food pantry among other things. He learns the important lesson to value what he already has. After some soul searching, I decided to adopt a Aha Mantra for the holidays: I will be thankful for what I already have.
Aha moment #2 took place in January, I felt led to attend a service at Renew Church. I sat next to my good friend, Nancy, and settled in to enjoy the sermon called “Dig a Ditch.” As the pastor read II Kings 4:1-7. The widow asks the prophet, Elisha, for help because her sons are going to be taken away as slaves. In verse 2, Elisha asks her, “What shall I do for you? What do you have in the house?” The phrase, “What do you have?” captured my immediate attention. I must confess I didn’t really listen that closely to the rest of the lesson.
Prompted by the Spirit, I launched into an inner dialogue, “What do you have, Julie?” What do you already have that you can use to take the next step? What do you already have that you can use to overcome your excuses of why you can’t or why the dream will never work out? As I drove home, I again determined that I would choose to be thankful for what I have. Instead of looking at what I didn’t have, I decided to make good use of the time, resources, and talents I have.
Aha moment #3 confirmed my mantra as I heard the words, “Focus on what you have.” while watching Long Shots. Totally out of the blue, the confirmation of my 2019 mantra became crystal clear.
Over three different months in three totally different venues, the Lord was trying to highlight something important. I began to think of the great heroes of the faith and how they used what they had to find solutions to the problems before them. They took great steps of faith. When David faced Goliath, it wasn’t Saul’s armor that saved him. In faith, David’s victory over the giant came from using common, ordinary stones combined with the talent he had developed as he guarded his father’s sheep and fought off the lion and the bear. In faith, Joseph used his ability to interpret dreams and his gift of administration to preserve a nation during famine. He used what he had. In faith, Esther used her position as queen and her favor with the king along with the heart of a champion to save the Jews from annihilation.
Being thankful is powerful.
Being thankful for what the Lord has already given us keep us humble and able to be used by the Lord. Giving thanks in all things protects our hearts from bitterness and being overcome by a spirit of fear. If we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our path. He will orchestrate the outcome of our acts of faith. As we acknowledge the Lord and all He has given us, He will give us the desires of our heart.
Be thankful for what you have.