Like most people, I have found myself in disbelief that the holiday season is upon us. I often ask myself, “Where has the time gone?” For me that last five months have flown by as I have been navigating a new job and writing a new book. As I looked back at what I had written below at this time last year, I realized that I have more to be thankful for this year than last, as I am sure many of us can agree. I hope you enjoy reading this message of Thankfulness again and I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving season.
A Heart of Thankfulness
While I try to live my life with an attitude of thanksgiving, it is during this season that we often truly reflect on the many blessings bestowed upon us. I have been listening to the old hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” repeatedly during the last week as I have been thanking God for His faithfulness.
Colossians 3:14-17 (NASU) says:
“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
This may seem like an over simplified picture of my thankful heart, but if you will indulge me I would like to explain. Pictured here is the view I have looking out my kitchen window. As a teacher, the Lord frequently speaks to me with simple analogies like this little tree. I often get such a clear picture of God’s provision as I care for my plants throughout the year. I am not an expert, and I cannot even tell you what kind of tree or plant this is. Honestly, I was looking for something to put in my window that could handle direct sunlight, and this one could.
The thing that drew my eye to this one was the little ornament that was in the soil that says, “Inspire”. This was my whole goal of shopping for the right plant anyway. This little tree has inspired me over the last two years. This has to be one of the thirstiest little creatures I have ever cared for! When I first purchased it, it was green and vibrant and had little white flowers….so beautiful. However, after a few months, I watched as its beauty daily began to fade.
This little tree has endured some diverse seasons. There was a time that my husband was convinced that it was dead and that I needed to put it out of its misery. Yet something in me just could not give up on it, because I had seen what it COULD be! I fed it; I replaced the rocks with better soil, and covered the soil with moss so it would stay moist all day. I refused to give up on it!
Little by little, the tree began to get stronger. It began to thrive again! It had a season of little white flowers again! Then the most amazing thing began to happen…..
One day I notices a stem that just start growing so fast that it reached across the window to the wall. It was quite a sight, and not particularly an attractive one. My daughter would ask me why I would not prune it. I kept telling her I was learning something from my little tree, and she would just laugh at me. Finally, the day came when I felt good about pruning that stem, and shortly after a MORE AMAZING thing happened…..
SIX MORE GREW! I was reminded of the passage in John 15:1-3 (NASU)
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
So during this season of Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my relationship with my God. I am also very thankful for my family and friends who I love dearly. I am thankful for my church family, I am thankful for a good job, I am thankful to be an American, I am thankful for all the provisions God has allowed me to have….the list goes on and on.
I can never list all my blessings, both big and small, but today I want to say I am also thankful for my little tree. This little tree inspires me in so many ways.
- Stay thirsty! Never become complacent, there is always more in God!
- Even in difficult seasons when things seem to be dying, stay faithful, this too will pass!
- If God prunes you, it is for your good and the good of the kingdom so more will grow!
I wish you an amazing Thanksgiving season!