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November 26, 2011

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving....



 Let them give thanks to the LORD
    for His faithful love
    and His wonderful works for the human race.  Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
    and announce His works with shouts of joy
For He has satisfied the thirsty
    and filled the hungry with good things. .... Psalm 107:7-9  (read the rest of it, long but worth it!.. here

The phrase sacrifices of thanksgiving really jumped out at me today in my devotional time ...  this whole past year God has been talking to me about Thanksgiving and gratitude (Ann Voskamp's book and website for instance...), about CHOOSING to see, that it is indeed a choice to look for His daily blessings..... but a sacrifice? ...

I confess I have not had the best attitude of late towards hubby  or God -- I have been praying for years, YEARS people! -- about our family and our soldoutness to God (it's a word I made it up, whatever!), about hubby leading more , I was very disappointed with his reaction - or lack thereof - with the movie Courageous, angry with him and his deployment habits -- hey we've done 6 it's a habit! -- not that he goes, that's not a choice but his choices not to write or make extra effort to be involved. I feel hurt, abandoned and rejected. So there you go...

BUT -- I have not been choosing to be thankful anyway -- at least not where he's concerned! He really IS a great guy -- he does so much that other husbands don't. He doesn't question my involvement with PWOC, babysits without complaining (even other peoples kiddos), doesn't harass me about the budget, does laundry,etc .... yet I see the way it could be and I yearn for that .....
             Mark Gungor says that "when your expectations don't meet your experience you have an emotional meltdown" .... well honey Satan has been testing me on that and let me tell you it's been melting all over the place over here even if it is below freezing out....

I have allowed my expectations, dreams, disappointments and desires get in the way of my reality ....seeing the sacrifice yet?....... Then I found this verse:

Whoever sacrifices a thank offering honors Me,
    and whoever orders his conduct,
    I will show him the salvation of God. ....Psalm 50:23 
 

Soooo... IF I really want to see God move in my life I need to starting lifting a thank offering to Him ... in  Leviticus  the thank offering was heave offering something lifted up to God with open hands in a posture of praise .... OUCH I can't say I've been doing that with my marriage or husband of late.... Now I know I am NOT the only one who hasn't so please don't say I told you so but use this post to examine your own heart, I confess not for condemnation but for prayer and support ... not for platitudes or scripture quotes but in the hopes that my honesty can help someone else who feels trapped and like they have no one to talk to ......

By very definition sacrifice means it will cost you something .. don't believe me? feel free to look it up ....  it will cost me something to Thank God in the middle of things that don't make sense, of things that I've prayed about and heard wait again, or no ....... so to thank God in the very midst of pain doesn't negate the pain, do away with the emotions, the fact I feel unheard IS NOT SIN, but choosing to dwell on it and use it to hurt my husband is another story .... counseling IS NOT SIN ......tears, wrestling with God IS NOT SIN .....

 the sacrifice is in the choosing 

   ~ to love my husband in SPITE of the things that make me crazy, ..
     ~or the fact that he doesn't do the things I wish he would (like pray with me).....
       ~to thank God that my son doesn't do drugs, sleep around,etc EVEN if he is choosing badly in school....
         ~ to see the beauty in each day .... as Ann says "the ugly beautiful" ....asking Him to make the Ugly beautiful in spite of me .....
             ~ in the letting go of those things I hang on to for protection: pride, being right, hurt, despair, desires, dreams, expectations, anger, the things I long for  .... to be willing to pay the cost
                 ~ to breathe in the blessings of God and breathe out gratitude..........even, no ESPECIALLY when it hurts.....                             


It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than resentful over what is withheld–one attitude or the other becomes a way of life.”... Elisabeth Elliott.

I want to do that ..... to lift up my life in Thanksgiving as a living sacrifice....

    even when I don't understand or see a "return" .....
to be free to praise in the midst of pain ......
 
To believe that WE will be satisfied, we will be filled and  we will see the salvation of God in the land of the living!

1 comment:

Stac said...

I was listening this morning to the Christian radio station that I like to listen to when I drive. I was on my way home from taking the Princess to school.

This is what I heard....Thank God in all things,until we thank God for everything we can not move on,our life will not have peace and we can not be fulfilled. We are to thank God for the day, for everything good, but we are also suppose to thank God for the bad, for trials, for pain and even death.

It is hard to want to thank God for the things we think are hard and painful in our lifes,we know that He puts everthing in our life for a reason, if He does everything for a reason why do we find it so hard and forget to thank Him for the bad, yet we can thank Him for only the good? My prayer is that I can diligently and seekingly, with open hands praise Him and thank Him in not only the good, but also the bad.

Love you dear friend and lifting you up!

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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)