Sunday, January 5, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 16: When I'm tired

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 16, January 5, 2014
Readings: Psalm 15, Genesis 16, 1 Chronicles 16:4-43, Luke 9:51-62, Luke 10:1-24

When I am tired, when I am weary, when I am ready to give up, I need to remember the goodness and might of God. For he is never tired, never overwhelmed, never on the verge of throwing in the towel. he is infinite, and he is good.

Giving thanks is a twofold expression. One part is expressing gratitude for a gift given, a good deed or kind word. But the second part is remembering that deed. Not only at the moment that it was done, but how it has continued to benefit the receiver. Being thankful is the reverse of holding a grudge - it strengthens a relationship instead of weakening it.

You may have heard it said that love keeps no record of wrongs. What it does is keep a record of rights - things done that are due love, appreciation and thankfulness. Remembering, and being thankful for these things is a wonderful gift for both the giver and receiver.

When I am about to quit is the moment (well, it should have been long before) that I need to stop thinking so much about myself and start thinking of the good things God has done, is doing, and will do for me and for others. It brings my mind outside of my present misery and to the present reality that I have more than I deserve. That despite my feeling blue, I am rich beyond my wildest dreams.

Elisha and I have a thing we do. I'll tell you, when you're on the "thanking" end, it feels like punishment. When one of us is grumpy, and funky, and generally causing things to spiral downwards, the other asks them to name 10 things that they're thankful for. Big, small, it doesn't matter. But they have to name 10 things before anything else happens.

You know what? It works. At the beginning, whoever is grumpy feels upset. Nothing can make this better, especially not just listing 10 stupid things that I'm stupid thankful get the idea. But by the end, I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief for all that I've been given. All that I have to be thankful for. And it's all because of God's goodness.

King David knew this as well. After a long war with the Philistines, Israel was on the brink. Their first king, Saul, and his family, had been slain. It was certainly a time to mourn, and many had lost friends, family in the war. But David knew that the key to recovery was being thankful. Remembering and rejoicing in the victory that God had brought them, not only over the Philistines, but throughout Israel's history. And so he appointed some of the priests of the Levites to "invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel." (1st Chronicles 16:4)

David even wrote a song (which comprises the majority of 1st Chronicles 16) to be sung before all the people of Israel. And these ministers were not just there to sing for a day, no, they were to be thankful each day, bringing burnt offerings before the LORD in the morning and evening, and some "chosen expressly named to give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever." (1st Chronicles 16:41)

God is deserving of my thanks, my praise, my offerings. He has given me so many things. When I am tired, when I am grumpy, when I just want to think all about me, I need to think about Him instead. About what He has done. About what He has sacrificed, for my sake. To remember. When you are down, will you remember how great our God is?

No comments: