I am sitting writing this at my kitchen table experiencing my second round of Covid. It has been a lot milder than the first, but the timing isn’t great! Our Baptist Union Hui is taking place this week and I was meant to fly up to Tauranga this evening to take part.
So, in the midst of my doldrums, what better time to write about the importance of cultivating thankfulness? In my early years as a Christian, whether how it was communicated or rather how I interpreted it, practicing thankfulness seemed a lot like positive thinking at best or putting a mask on and pretending that there wasn’t anything wrong at worst. Who can spot the problem with that?
When we cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving, we aren’t denying that there are disappointments, needs or things to genuinely lament in our lives and for others. If we aren’t coming before God in lament then we aren’t carrying our own or others’ burdens to Him. But after we have done the hard work and laid our pain, even if just for a time, at the foot of Jesus, the one who now intercedes on our behalf, it is time to follow the example of scripture by intentionally looking for, seeking out and naming the things we have been blessed with; those things we are, can and should be thankful for.
I am deeply disappointed to not gather with fellow Baptist leaders from around the country, but I am immensely grateful that when I come out of isolation, I get to fellowship with the congregation that keeps me flourishing, rooted in Gods lavish love.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and thanksgiving shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. (Phil 4:6 The Message)
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