Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Yesterday my friend and student, Nadia, came over for English lesson. She has a rolling French lilt, and a demeanor that fits exactly with my idea of an angel of heaven... so full of love for everyone, and sincere worship and adoration of Jesus Christ.
She met Kevan and Hayden, as they were visiting and I put them to work, helping Nadia with her dictation exercises. Before she went home, she just glowed and gushed to me: "I am so thankful I know you and you are here, and that I came here today to learn English, because I met your wonderful brother and his friend, and I know God is blessing them, and He will bless Hayden because He sees how he helps your brother, just like He sees your friends the two Hannans, and He will bless them because they help you - may God bless your friends!"
I smiled at her sweet enthtusiasm and agreed with her, just loving the way she showers blessings so generously. Then she got more serious and said, "Sometimes I am sad and disappointed, and I have to say, 'God, I thank you.' I ask God to give me strength to be thankful for everything, in good and bad times."
I was silent, humbled by this because I had been sad and disappointed all day and had chosen to complain and criticize, rather than give thanks. It was so easy last week - on vacation at home with my family and friends and a dozen desserts - to think of all the things I am thankful for. But Nadia is right, we need to thank God in good and bad times, because he can use the hard times to draw us closer to Him and bring glory to His name.
Thankfulness is a lot like love, in that at its truest and purest level, it isn't contingent on feelings or circumstances. It's a response that we consciously choose to make. And sometimes it isn't easy, and from our perspective it might not make sense. But God really loves it when we decide to do things His way, to walk in his will, and give him the glory.