Ten Days of Thanks {Day Three}

Day Three

God’s beautiful message to you- His beloved. 

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:18

I am calling you to a life of thankfulness. I want all your moments to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude is My sovereignty. I am the Creator and Controller of the universe. Heaven and earth are filled with My glorious Presence.

My husband Monty served in the US Air Force for 23 years. We were blessed to see the best of this beautiful country that we call home. Over his career, we lived in 8 different states and helped start three new churches in three of those states. There have been many adventures along the way, and we are grateful to the Lord for God allowing us the opportunity to live ten-thousand lifetimes.

Yet, if I can be honest with you, there were hard times. Lonely and isolating times where we knew no one. Because of Monty’s career field, we were not assigned to a base so there was no support and no other military families in the community. Of our almost 40 years of marriage, Monty has probably been away from our little family for 3 1/2 of those years. Deployments, education/schooling, temporary duties and wherever the USAF decided they needed him took priority over everything. 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months at a time.

There was one particular move that we made that I thought was the most horrible decision ever handed to us. Monty had 18 years in the AF, we had built our forever home in the Raleigh, NC area and our plan was to retire there. Monty was a career medical (docs/nurses) recruiter for the AF and was very successful. We were set for him to become a medical headhunter for several of the hospitals in eastern NC. We were surprised to get word that he had a new assignment/huge promotion and we would move to Muncie, IN. WHERE? Really? We were in an amazing church, I was on staff there, had the most amazing friends and God was really moving in this church. Move. Noooo.

Long story short. I went kicking and screaming. Not literally but I just could not see God’s hand anywhere. I was overwhelmed with frustration, feelings of abandonment and anger. I would hold on to those feeling for nearly a year. Then it started snowing and the isolation would walk hand in had with loneliness and deep sadness. Surely God had made a mistake. Surely I knew better. I had closed my heart off to the possibility that God was going to do something good in our lives. So, I put my game face on and told God straight up I was not happy and then proceeded to lead my children on “one more amazing adventure”. And we are gonna have fun if it kills us. Ugh.

You know where this is going. God allowed me my spiritual tantrum. He is God like that. I continued to pursue my relationship with the Lord. God began to lead me on a journey that opened doors for ministry in ways He had never done before. Mid-western folks are the best but it took them a while to finally accept this southern girl with a twang. God was good and faithful. Sovereign and gracious. There was an awakening in this little college town. People were coming to Christ and with every small faithful moment of surrender, God would care for us and bless every area of our lives. Muncie was a Romans 8 road for sure but I learned a lot about gratitude and THANKS-living. God revealed Himself in ways that I had never known Him before. He firmly walked me out of the pit into His glorious light. These are things I have pulled from my prayer journal from that time in my life. Thought it might speak to you just as I felt God speaking to me then.

I wrote this on the morning that we had received 26 inches of snow in 24 hours. Monty was stranded in Indianapolis after the interstate was closed down. Our power had gone out @ 2am. The kids in the bed with me with almost every blanket we owned on top of us. By 7 am we could see our breath and were freezing. It was 10 degrees below zero and the wind chill was beyond wicked. 

Funny thing the kids thought this was the coolest thing ever! So we called just in time to get the last hotel room at the good hotel. We laughed and made plans for hot chocolate as soon as we got to the hotel. I smiled deep and gratitude filled my heart. 

These are the words God spoke to my heart as well in that moment.

When you criticize or complain, you are acting as if you think you could run the world better than I do. From your limited human per- spective, it may look as if I’m mismanaging things. But you don’t know what I know or see what I see. If I pulled back the curtain to allow you to view heavenly realms, you would understand much more. 

However, I have designed you to live by faith, not by sight. I lovingly shield you from knowing the future or seeing into the spirit world. Acknowledge My sovereignty by giving thanks in all circumstances.

“…the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them….” Romans 8:26-28

It just may be a great day to grab your Bible and check out Romans 8. I know you will identify and want to lay hold of the truths written there. I promise it will be a spiritual exercise as powerful as your morning workout.

We live by faith, not by sight. —2 Corinthians 5:7

PS. Just in case you ever wondered- Nothing can separate you from His love. 

You are so LOVED!!!!

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