It was one of those unforgettable moments in early 2010. I was driving to the hospital on my way to visit Cindy ( now there for over three months mostly in a coma). Although I had been processing the whole idea of believing and expecting, I never-the-less went into a period of intense whining at the thought of losing my wife. I am a good whiner—some might say even a professional. It was during a particularly dark time in this lenghty ordeal with my beautiful wife’s life-threatening illness. In the midst of my complaining He spoke. It was a tender voice that I knew immediately was my precious Lord. He said, Vince do you have anything in your life for which you are thankful?
Talk about a change of thought process and direction. I knew this was from our wonderful Savior—the very Person who holds all of our circumstances in the palm of His hand. I immediately went into a chorus of things I was thankful for—here is a partial list as best as I can remember:
I thank you Lord for:
- The special relationship Cindy and I along with our extended family have with each other and with you
- For two of the best daughters any dad could ever have
- Son-in-laws that love you and extend that love to our daughters and five very special grandchildren
- How you are watching over us and extending a supernatural sense of peace through this process
- The myriad of friends who have, are, and will continue praying for Cindy through this difficulty
- The unusual sacrificial giving we have experienced and that our future in this area is truly in your hands
- The special future you have already planned for us
- Your incredible outpouring through the ministry you have given Cindy and me and the tens of thousands of lives that have been impacted
- Who you are—the GREAT I AM
I am pursuaded that one of the very special and pleasing things our Lord experiences happens when we thank Him in the midst of our greatest struggles.
It is a powerful demonstration of taking our focus off of our own pain and letting Him know how much we love Him. It is not always easy, however. The flesh is very powerful and the enemy of our soul is always right there telling us what a victim we are and how God really isn’t around to help.
Perhaps the most powerful and often mentioned ideas in the Bible have to do with this attitude of thankfullness. Everything from numerous thank offerings to expressions of thanks as the people went out praising at the head of the army and gained the benefit of victory. The Bible says that our Lord literally inhabits the praises of His people. I believe He is never closer than when we seek Him in a spirit of thankgsgiving.
May I suggest what could be a powerful take-away for you from this TargetPoint? Sit down and write out your list of things you are thankful for. Then, find a quiet spot and bring them before the Lord in in a posture of thanksgiving. Tell Him how much you love Him for the all the positive stuff. I promise you it is the best medicine for our tendency to whine. It will also give you a more encouraging perspective and engender hope into your circumstance like nothing else you do.