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March 20, 2021
Beale Memorial Baptist Women’s Conference
With: Sharon Jaynes
April 9-11, 2021
Girlfriends In God Conference
With: Mary Southerland, Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith
April 14, 2021
First Presbyterian Church of Midland
With: Sharon Jaynes
2 hours ago
Heavenly Father, make me a woman of gratitude. I pray my heart will be infected with thankfulness and I will spread it to those around me. I pray the Holy Spirit will stop me from grumbling, and spur me to give thanks in all circumstances.
In Jesus’ Name,
21 hours ago
The sky outside is a dense, soaked grey today. It reminds me of earlier this year when my husband and I watched from our living room window as menacing clouds rose up in the distance then stretched their fingers tentatively toward the ground. We live in tornado country and we don’t take such sights lightly. Flipping on the television, we heard the weatherman telling us to find a safe place as he pointed to splotches of red on the map. We went to our designated spot and took a moment to pray as the tree limbs began to sway outside.
The dark masses soon gave way to brilliant blue again. The wind quieted and we stepped back into the rhythm of our routine. It was not until hours later as I curled up in my cozy bed under a pile of warm blankets that it occurred to me to say “thank you” to God for what didn’t happen that day.
I mentally scrolled through the list of other disasters I’d narrowly missed in life. The bad-news boy I had a huge crush on as a teenager. The suspicious test results that worried the doctor but turned out to be nothing at all. The countless times I’ve asked God to keep my husband safe as he headed out for a bike ride and then watched him walk back through the door sweaty and smiling hours later.
And, yes, I understand that even if the storm wreaks havoc, the unwelcome diagnosis comes, or the heart gets broken, we are still to say thanks. I have experienced firsthand the mysterious, hard beauty that can come from tears and ashes. But the place where I seem to most often miss an opportunity to be grateful is when everything turns out fine and I just go on my merry way.
God invites us to say thanks then, too. First, simply because He is worthy of it. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; his love endures forever,” (Psalm 106:1). What He prevents in our lives is just as full of gifts as what He allows.
Also, this kind of gratitude can cure so much of our discontent. When I think of how I could be suddenly homeless after a storm, I smile a bit more at the roof over my head and don’t notice that stain in the carpet as much. When I recognize I might be in the hospital instead of sitting in a little coffee shop with my computer, it puts that envy-provoking picture on social media into proper perspective. When I think of all the turns my story could have taken, the rocky patches in the road of my relationships don’t seem quite as much like boulders.
This year as I sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, I want to express my appreciation for all that’s right in front of me—good food, memories being made, dear friends and family. But I also want to thank God for all that isn’t there, for what could have been if things had gone another way or even if I had always gotten my way.
Yes, gratitude is about what we can see. But I’m learning it’s also about thanking Him for what never came be.
GIRLFRIENDS IN GOD Encouraging and equipping women in the love and truth of Christ. CLICK HERE to learn about the RISE UP Conf in Asheville, NC:
"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8