I asked this question of you a couple or three weeks ago: What are you grateful for?
Last Thursday and Friday I sent an email to people who are on a special email list. Occasionally I ask these people to pray for urgent matters regarding our lives and work. Last week, I asked them to pray that God would provide us with enough funding to cover our organizational expenses (we were pretty low on funds). People prayed (I know ‘cuz I heard from some of them) and this morning I learned that God indeed answered those prayers in several very cool ways from a couple of unexpected places (not that I had an expectation).
In that email, I told my praying friends that I would be thankful no matter what we received. But then, it’s really a blessing to go to God and have prayers answered in a very specific way. I rejoice in His provision. Yes, yes… I know… I know that there are many, many (perhaps you) people who have not had important prayers answered and that is frustrating, isn’t it? (I have a half dozen of you in mind right now).
Believe me, there are things I have prayed a long time for. There are things that we need, wish for and desperately want that just do not come to fruition. There are things that I have prayed for and wanted for a very long time. For these things, I have learned one main thing: it is better to pray and wait. In the pray-and-wait mode, God can really work on my heart (I can’t, that’s for sure). I too have lost loved ones, lost employment, done without and been broke and felt alone. But when I pray, God is there. I have found that many, many times. And that is why when my (our) prayers are answered, it is particularly sweet. It has not always been that way.
I want you to know that getting to this place of peace on the journey has not been a cakewalk. It has only come as I have made time for an ever-deepening relationship with God. Each morning (and consciously through the day) I practice being thankful. I need to do this because I have learned that as I practice gratitude, God works on my heart and helps me be even more thankful. I have learned that God builds my faith in Him as I practice being grateful. I start with thanking Him for my beating heart and breathing lungs and then I work my way outward in gratitude to include you dear reader (by the way, thanks for reading).
This spiritual practice of gratitude has, as time has gone by, enabled me to not only be grateful for the things that are easy to be grateful but also for things and situations that are hard to be thankful for.
On today’s occasion, I am thankful that God had it worked out that JUST enough funding came in today that all our bills are paid and I could get paid. God is good, but then, guess what, if I don’t get paid next month, God will still be good. I know this to be true and am cultivating gratitude in myself to try to always remember that, and I hope that you will as well.
If you would like to be on one of those prayer email lists email us at email@example.com and I will add you and let you know from time to time about prayer needs and if you would like to get involved in financially supporting supporting our work, click here.
By the way, I am VERY thankful for YOU dear reader!