I’ll never forget the night I helped my son edit his college term paper. Something he wrote was so powerful it jumped off my computer screen, grabbed my heart, and challenged my perspective.
If there was ever a secret for unleashing God’s powerful peace in a situation, it’s developing a heart of true thanksgiving. My son, Jackson, knows this.
The truly thankful person is a truly peaceful person. They have made a habit no matter what to notice, pause and choose.
Notice something for which to be thankful no matter what circumstance they’re in.
Pause to acknowledge this something as a reminder of God’s presence.
Choose to focus on God’s presence until His powerful peace is unleashed.
Jackson’s paper was about the corruption and greed that caused the civil war in his native land – Liberia, Africa. He did a great job recounting the facts of the story. But the difference between Jackson and most other kids explaining a historical event is before we adopted him, he lived in the midst of the horrific conditions of this war.
During one part of the paper, he described what it felt like to be naked digging through the trash looking for the treasure of thrown away food.
The treasure of thrown away food.
I can hardly type those words without crying. This is my son.
And yet, despite the horrific conditions of his childhood there was an unexplainable thread of peace woven throughout his recollection of the story. A powerful peace centered in the awareness of God’s presence.
I doubt any of us will find our treasure in thrown away food today. But will we be a noticer, a pauser, a chooser – a person of thanksgiving no matter what circumstance we’re facing?
I find this truth about the power of thanksgiving over and over in Scripture. What was the prayer Daniel prayed right before being thrown into the lion’s den and witnessing God miraculously shut the lions’ mouths? Thanksgiving.
After three days in the belly of a fish, what was the cry of Jonah’s heart right before he was finally delivered onto dry land? Thanksgiving.
How are we instructed to pray in Philippians 4:6 when we feel anxious? With thanksgiving.
And what is the outcome of each of these situations where thanksgiving is proclaimed? Peace. Powerful, unexplainable, uncontainable peace.
“And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:7).
Interestingly enough, one of Webster’s official definitions of thanksgiving is: “a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.”
Will you join me in celebrating God’s divine goodness today?
This week I’ve been posting about how to #BEaNOTICER (click here if you missed the first post, and here if you missed the second post.) Our final focus of this challenge is to be a noticer of the treasures in our hard circumstances.
Leave a comment below telling me how you are cultivating a heart of thanksgiving and seeing God in your struggle today. I’m choosing 3 winners for my #BEaNOTICER giveaway, which includes a copy of Unglued, Unglued Devotional: 60 Days to Imperfect Progress, and a set of Unglued key tags.
You can also share what you’re doing to be a noticer on social media. If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, post a picture and tag me @LysaTerKeurst using the hashtag… #BEaNOTICER.