It’s been 4 months since our return to Tanzania. It’s been an interesting season for us. A season filled with ups and downs. With joy and tears. With peace and anxiety. If I’m honest, I’ve found myself giving more into the latter. The downs. The tears. The anxiety. I was at the sink the other day washing dishes and I realized that as much as I try to argue against this, I tend to be the person who is holding the glass that is half empty. It’s easy for me to slip into a woe is me mentality. And I’ve found myself staying there longer these days. It’s as if I’m getting comfortable in the pit; muck, mire and all.
I then went on to think (by God’s grace), what if I could replace every negative thought with a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus.
When my big kids are arguing for the hundredth time that day, thank you Jesus that I was able to have children.
When I’m hot, sweaty and tired because I live in Africa, thank you Jesus for the privilege of serving You.
When I’m feeling stuck in between two worlds, thank you Jesus that this world is not my home.
When I’m afraid to go spend time with neighbors because I know it will take me out of my comfort zone, thank you Jesus that we have a loving community that has accepted me and is helping me learn this language and culture.
So. Much. To. Thank. Him. For.
All the time the Father is gently chipping away. Ridding me of things that don’t belong. Pruning me that I may bear more fruit. Allowing me to be brought low so that I may know the joy of being lifted up.
These are the things I should be thankful for. Thankful because He does it all in love. Thankful because He is pursuing me.
I love this verse:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
These should not be options for us as believers, yet rather commands. May I rejoice. May I pray without ceasing. May I truly give thanks in ALL circumstances.
It’s a little funny because I am constantly telling my children to have a happy heart. But the truth is, I need to be telling myself the very same thing. Yes, my circumstances will continue to change (for the good and the bad), but my Jesus never does. If my hope, my joy, my strength, my song, my everything is truly found in Him, then no matter my circumstance, I already have everything I need. It’s Jesus.
Thanks for reading!
Together Making Him Known,
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog last week and have already failed miserably at choosing thankfulness, so this by no means is something I have mastered in any way! This is not easy…but may we not give up as we cling to Jesus.