Friday, December 4, 2015

Valley of Thankfulness

Thanksgiving held an extra special blessing for me. My teen granddaughter reminded me, “Don’t forget . . . before we eat Thanksgiving dinner, we have to share what we’re thankful for”. She paused before continuing, “This year hasn’t been great”.

Funny . . . those sentiments had surfaced in my head, too. “This year hasn’t been great”.

I must admit I’ve lived in the valley a lot this year. There have been a lot of people I love that reside there with me. We build fires to sit around and share our disappointments because it’s too cold and clammy to build much else. We throw out Jesus terminology, but there’s no passion. Compound the growing apathy over all the horrendous, senseless killings in our country and the pit grows darker. We often fail to see the avalanche of Grace and Mercy and Love even when it tumbles down the mountain in rainbow colors.

“This year hasn’t been great”.

But it has. It’s been phenomenal! And it’s been filled with loss, disappointments, and health issues! But it took me hearing my granddaughter’s voice filled with trepidation for me to look back and remember all the significant blessings that poured over every trial.

So my granddaughter and I talked. About the valley. And about the real stuff, the important stuff. It was amazing. Looking back over the last eleven months, we began rejoicing and laughing. We began untying knots and tying bows of gratitude and thanksgiving.

The church service before Thanksgiving iced our memory with joy. The pastor said, “There’s a thanks that goes beyond politeness to profound”. The pastor paraphrased James 1 by stating, “Every gift from above is the source of thanks.” Then he asked those who wanted to express gratitude to stand and share what God had done in their lives.

One by one people stood and told the congregation about the power of the Almighty in the midst of their darkest moments. Every gift expressed was profound, going beyond the polite “thanks” to explosions of honor and glory power. I’ve never experienced God’s presence like I did that day. There was glory in the chapel!

As we left the service, my granddaughter took my hand and said, “This year hasn’t been all that bad.”
I pulled her in close and said, “It’s been the best year ever!”

On Thanksgiving we sat down at the table and began our round of thanks. No one fidgeted. No one shrugged their shoulders. Everyone gave a multitude of thanks.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Thank you, Lord for loving me even when I’m in the valley. Thank You for continuing to send profound blessings.

Next time I’m in the valley, I’m going to start singing and praising God’s name. If I stand just right and tilt my head to the side, maybe, just maybe, it will echo out to my companions and everyone will start to praise God, one by one.

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving
And extol Him with music and song.” Psalm 95:1-2

Now can I get an AMEN?


God bless you!
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