Not too long ago, I felt stuck. Sometimes it’s an emotional stuck—I don’t feel like I’m growing forward or I can’t seem to move forward regarding my view about a relationship, a change, a circumstance, or a decision. Other times it’s mental or physical—I can’t seem to decide what step to take or to take the step that I really think I should take. When this happens, I tend to overthink it and talk it out too many times. I pray, but then I seem to cycle back to thinking and talking. So I made space to consider what needed to change.
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4.2)
Constant, committed communion with God . . . whew, that’s a lot. But God only exhorts us to that which he knows we can do through Christ who strengthens us.
He knows we are lifelong learners when it comes to prayer and having intimate relationship with him. But I think that sometimes I compartmentalize when I want to be a learner or how I’m going to practice what I’ve learned.
I am learning that being thankful to God is more purposed and powerful than I ever imagined.
God says to be watchful in it (prayer) with thanksgiving. We tend to thank God at meals, as our head lands on the pillow at bedtime, when we’re desperate, and then when he provides for us in our desperate moment. These are fine beginnings. Yet, God has so much more for us through our thanksgiving.
Practice being alert for ways to thank God—Like, when we thank a person for something, do we think to thank God for that person? When we thank God, we name the true Giver. Our mind and heart shift from the object of our thanks and feeling thankful—to the One who provided it. We see how active God really is.
When we try to be watchful for God, he helps us see:
Thank you, God, for stopping the rain so they could play the soccer game!
Thank you, God, for breakthrough with her friend and that you have the way forward.
Thank you, Jesus, for the way that you connected me to the name of a tutor.
Thank you, Father, for protecting me from the stomach bug.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for showing me how to repair that.
Thank you, Lord, for providing that I ran into my friend at the grocery store, because you knew she needed encouragement.
Thank you, God, that you know how hard this season is, that you are with me, and that you are at work.
We thank him in our pain, joy, confusion, hope, discouragement, or fear—we speak a step of faith toward him. Our struggle may still loom large—BUT WE ARE LEARNING THAT GOD IS SO MUCH LARGER.
I am learning that giving God thanks every day, throughout the day, strengthens my faith that he is ALMIGHTY GOD. When I feel weak, I am more confident to claim that I am strong because ALMIGHTY GOD is with me. When I feel stuck, he is present to help me move–toward him.
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Col. 2:7)