Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving Thanks

Most people can tick off a list of things to be thankful for on one hand: family, job, home, health and friends. Thanksgiving is a good time to pause and count your blessings.

But what if you remove one of those things? Let’s say the job. Money gets tight, your home might be at risk of foreclosure, the worry impacts your health, the stress causes you to bite those closest to you, and your friends become distant. Those plates you had spinning so expertly, start to fall and shatter at your feet.

What’s a person to do? An interesting man named Paul (not McCartney) once said, “I will rather boast about my weaknesses…”

Why would anyone want to brag about his or her weaknesses? You see Paul had an amazing turnaround in life. He had it all, a great job, good friends, knowledge, prestige—even had a different name: Saul. And then one day he was struck blind. He couldn’t do his job; he was helpless. (Acts 9:1-9)

He found himself having to depend on some dude that Saul should’ve considered cat food. Ananias was a Christian and he prayed for Saul, and he was healed. (Acts 9:10-22) He felt so different he even took on a new name: Paul.

From then on Paul shucked his job and became a preacher—a member of the same group of people he used to round up to be tossed to the lions. He performed miracles and he boasted of his weaknesses. The rest of his quote tells why, “…so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

The most amazing people in my life are those that praise God in the midst of illness, legal problems or joblessness. I remember a pastor saying, “For every non-Christian who has cancer, there is a Christian with cancer.”

There is a better way to do this life. God calls us to be holy, set apart from this world. If we wow the world with our strength, brains, money or stuff…we’re just another voice in a world where everyone is shouting for his or her 15 minutes of fame. Eventually all these things will fade in the shadow of the next crisis of the day. It’s our weakness that really lets Jesus shine in our lives.

Now, if I ask you what are you thankful for, what comes to mind? It’s easy to be thankful for the blessings in life. What has driven you closer to God? Or, are you finally tired of keeping all those plates spinning in the air?

I am thankful for being broken, because I know who holds me together. My savior shines like a beacon through those cracks to the rest of the world and tells them there is a Hope. (John 14:6)

Now, grab one of your plates and have a slice of pie.

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

1 comment:

A. M. Wilson said...

I'm thankful for the grace He's given me. For the life, eternal, He died to give me. For the love only He can put in my heart for those who aren't lovely. For His never ending promise to take me Home when He's done with me.

For dear friends. :-)