October 27, 2013

Being Thankful

PASTOR'S POST - NOVEMBER 2013


As we start another fall season, there is one question that will resonate in our hearts, "What am I thankful for?" I find reasons to be thankful within the simple things of life. For instance, the picture above was taken when Donna and I, with our dog Bruno in tow went to Table Rock State Park for the day. I remember being thankful for my family, the great weather and the beautiful colors of the changing leaves.  Everything there screamed of God's love through His attention to detail in its creation. I am thankful to have a God that loves me unconditionally, sacrificially and relentlessly.  I am so blessed to have the privilege of pastoring His church and walking along side His people through the steps of their lives.

While the above mentioned can give us a warm and fuzzy feeling, the honest truth is that I, along with many of our congregation, endure storms.  As hard as it is to admit, I am thankful for the storms, too.  Yes, those moments that cause our faith to be challenged are as beautiful as the changing leaves of fall.  In the heat of the moment it is hard to find beauty in the midst of chaos, but God is faithful and He makes all things beautiful.

The Apostle Paul says it best in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica:

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil. [1 Thessalonians 5:16-22]

Whether we are experiencing the beauty of fall or the harshness of winter, God is there.  If we follow Paul's instructions, we can develop the mindset of being thankful in every situation. Remember, He makes all things beautiful!

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. [Ecclesiastes 3:11]

Find the Joy of Being Thankful!