It's that time of the year again - - a time we set aside on the calendar for "stuffing the turkey" and "giving thanks for our blessings." We pull out our recipes, head to the grocery store to buy the ingredients needed for stuffing the big bird, and the cooking preparations begin. When Thanksgiving Day arrives, families gather together, have a time of giving thanks, and then carve the stuffed turkey waiting on the platter. For just a brief moment in time, most of us capture the true meaning of "giving thanks unto the Lord" on Thanksgiving Day, no matter what kind of trials we have been through during the year.
But, what about the day after Thanksgiving--“if you could actually put your heart on a platter like the stuffed turkey, what would you see stuffed inside that might rob you of a thankful heart throughout the year?"
I don’t know about you, but every now and then, I have to do a little soul searching. Well-----to be honest, I feel a nudge of conviction from the Holy Spirit that suggests I need to change the recipe for what is stuffed inside my heart. He then begins to talk with me about it, as He did recently, in a down-to-earth language just like other conversations we have together.
“You remind me, Martha, of one of those stiff-necked Israelites--complain, complain, complain. “Ain't it Awful What Has Happened to Me!” You know, there is a big difference between a complaint born out of a real need verses a complaining attitude. The kind of complaining you have been doing has trapped you into seeing yourself as a perpetual victim, not more than a conqueror through me, which has left no room in your heart to give me thanks.” (Me: And I thought I was completely justified in what I was complaining about.)
“Remember the golden calf that the Israelites made to worship? Well, Martha, I wouldn’t say you have gone that far with your facebook antics, but you are getting close. I know you have friends and relatives in faraway places that I really do want you to stay touch with. But, you seem to thrive on seeing when people get up in the morning, when they go to the restroom, who has a broken romance, who needs an egg on Farmville, and so you scroll and scroll and scroll. As a result, you are using up precious time that could be used to give thanks for your blessings, not to mention using facebook as a tool for ministry to go into all the world.” (Me: Facebook used for ministry? Who would have thought?)
“Now, let’s talk about your self-righteous attitude toward your unsaved husband. You have 20/20 vision when it comes to seeing alllll his flaws, but you seem to have none. Give thanks for the good qualities that you see in him, and not the other stuff. Remember, it is not my will that any should perish, but that all will come into repentance, including your so-called flawed unbeliever.” (Me: But, Lord-------he is just so---never mind.)
Your Time Table
“Isn’t it about time that you put down that time table you are clutching for the manifestation of promises I have made to you? My Word is Yea and Amen; in MY appointed time, they shall come to pass. In the meantime, be thankful that I have never left you in any season of your life. (Me: "I know, I know, but do I have to wait as long as Abraham and Sarah?")
“You have always been good at tithing. But, may I break it to you gently--you are about as stingy as they come with giving offerings to those in need. Why your husband is more generous than you are! Don’t you know that insomuch as you have given to the least of my brethren, you have given to me? And as you give, thanksgiving just floods your heart---there is no greater joy than giving to those in need. (Me: Yes, I am beginning to find that one out!)
"Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!!”
And so, I pulled myself up by the bootstrap, confessed my sins with a promise that with His help, I would stuff my heart with a new recipe, and strive to have a heart of thanks all year long.
As usual, I just had to have the last word in my conversation with the Lord., and so I said: "If I may say so myself, there are three things that I am eternally thankful for, and for the most part, give thanks for them every day.
- Your gift of salvation
- Lynn Donovan and this ministry. Lynn has brought me a lonnnnnng way in this spiritual mismatched marriage and for that I am thankful every day of the year. And through her, I have had the privilege of being in contact with my Sumite friends from around the world.
- My own SUM group in Orange, Texas. These ladies have blessed me tremendously for the past 7 years, and I am so thankful for each one of them."
Happy Thanksgiving from your SUMITE Sisters in Orange, Texas. Here we are at our monthly meeting in my home, November 4th with a Thanksgiving Feast and giving thanks to our Lord.