Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful, In Spite Of...

The year 2009 has been a challenging one. Not for a modest few, but for many. Rare to find are those who have not been affected in some direct way by the recession that has plagued our country. The U.S.'s economic problems didn't just start this year, but they certainly worsened. Decrease in healthcare benefits, mounting job losses, shifting gas prices, record company closures, increased theft reports...all of it is largely due to the economy, and all of it has touched each of us in one way or the other.
In times like these, when we cannot necessarily cite a long list of materialistic things for which to be grateful, we sometimes find ourselves waddling in self-pity. Then instead of counting the blessings that we do have, we gripe about those things that we don't have. But as I now sit in my home office, taking a break from an editing assignment as this great holiday winds down, I am full of thanksgiving. This year has been trying for me, and the challenges have been great. But the same God that had been good in the time of plenty has remained good in the lean time. Yes, there were days when finances fell short and days when there was more month than money. But on this Thanksgiving Day, I have been determined to be thankful in spite of.
All that I want may not be visible before my eyes, but I have been provided with all that I need. No, my bank account does not qualify me to rank among the wealthiest authors in the industry, but as Proverbs 10:22 says, The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Therefore I am richer than so many whose bank accounts are running over. I have an abundance of faith - For what does it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:28); an understanding of God's Word - With all thy getting, get an understanding (Prov. 4:7), and a respected name in the literary industry where I've been placed to serve in ministry - A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches (Prov. 22:1). Those things that money cannot buy are perhaps the things for which we should be most grateful. They are certainly the things that I am most thankful for this year.
I had a conversation with a long time friend and supporter on last week who had just suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side and unable to walk on his own accord. When he revealed his current situation to me, my heart immediately saddened, and I prayed inwardly for something to say to him that would give him hope. But it only took a few seconds for me to realize that my hospitalized friend didn't need my sympathy, and he had enough hope to spare. Before I could form a word, he continued to tell me how grateful he was. "It could have been worse," he said, and then he went on to give God thanks and praise for what was versus what could have been. Instead of me building his faith, he built mine. When I ended the call with him, I began to thank God too. I thanked Him for sparing my friend's life and for giving him back the full use of his extremities (I claimed that one by faith).
When we learn to thank God in spite of, I believe that it is then that we are blessed to see the overflow that He has stored up for us. If we can't be grateful for what we have, how can God trust us with the abundance that He has on standby? So for the few hours that are left in this Thanksgiving Day, I will continue to give God the praise; not only for what I have today, but for those things that I know that He will bless me with on tomorrow...and the next day...and the next day....and the next day...
What things are you thankful for? In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thessalonians 5:18).


Arnita L. Fields said...

Praise God for this post, Kendra. This has been a interesting year for me, but I yet rejoice and give thanks to God for all things great and small. He is still God and He changes not, He's still worthy of our praise.

Bless you!

Minister Coylette said...

Amen Kendra, you where completely on point for where I am. And no matter what, God is still on the Throne and exceeding abundantly worthy of our praise!

May His Blessing run you down and overtake you!

Minister Coylette James

T.S. Jones said...

That was a good word Kendra! Thanks for the words of encouragement!

- T.S. Jones

Dwan Abrams said...

I'm thankful too. Thanks for reminding us of what's truly important. Very encouraging.

Melissa Ewell Miller said...

"Those things that money cannot buy are perhaps the things for which we should be most grateful."

I believe this with my whole heart Kendra. During the times when it would be easier to fuss and cry, I have found it's much more profitable to thank God for the little things.

A former employer once told me that hard times will make a monkey eat black pepper. Well I thank God for my beans and rice to go with my black pepper!

Be blessed my sister and know that you are loved and appreciated!


Renee said...

Absolutely wonderful post! I thank God too for all that He's done, but more importantly for who He is. What a wonderful testimony that you've given and I pray that it touch others to be moved for the Lord. It is very important that we realize why we're here (on Earth) in the first place. It was never about us, it's all about God.

God is so awesome and worthy to be praised. Keep on thanking Him, sister! Amen.

Vicki Austin said...

God Bless You Kendra!
I am always inspired when I read your blog. And this one rings so true.This year has been a challenging one for me as well, in many different ways. One of many has been the steady decline of my mother's health. However, as you stated so eloquently, no matter what I have had to face and or endure this year, I haven't had to do it alone. God is ever present and His grace truly is sufficient!
Even with the health situation and budget restraints, God has provided and my son is making it through his second year in College with a fantastic GPA. Praise Him! I have learned often times, in the times that are the leanest, or the most difficult, the most trying or the most saddening, I can still find more than enough to praise God for. He continues to be the lifter of my head. In all things give thanks?...Yes, I am constantly using this simple yet powerful scripture for the past 2 years. Not "FOR ALL THINGS", BUT, in all things!!
There is still and always will be hope and joy eternal in the mighty God we serve! Thanks Kendra for sharing such a meaty word.
Sisterly love in Christ,
Continued anointing lady.