Have you ever thanked God in advance of receiving whatever it was you were asking Him for?
Right? Honestly, I don't think I have ever done that. I have trusted enough to say, whatever happens Lord, I am good with it. Whichever way You want this situation to play out, I will worship You, or however things turn out I know You are in control.
I did not just "say" the words, I felt them. I truly believed those things I said. But to thank God . . . . truly thank Him . . . BEFORE you received it. Now that's faith.
For my class this morning, I read a story* about a mother who thanked God that her son was going to become a Christian so faithfully that she bought him a Bible even though her son told her point blank, "I only want to play football even if it means I will go to hell."
He didn't want God. She even asked the pastor to save some time for her son's testimony during the next week's service, because she believed so much that her son would become a Christian. That night when he did accept Jesus, and he came home and told his mother, she said, "I know I've been telling you this for 3 weeks."
Many years ago . . .long before I thought about blogging, I was in a situation where I really wanted a particular outcome. I prayed that I would not get MY way, but that whatever was the BEST way . . . that is what God would allow to happen. I wanted desperately for my two oldest girls to move from Florida and come and live in Arkansas with me. But as I prayed, I asked not that they could come and live with us, but that God could show me the very best way and I would be thankful for it.
I went to court twice, once when I got divorced (when I actually lost them) and the second time when Lollipop was in 6th grade. Both times I was disappointed because they were not coming home with me. But I believed with all my heart that God's plan was the best. I saw how upset Lollipop was when they told her she would have to testify against her father, and well I didn't want her to be hurt.
But God was faithful to me, and in just two short years, He gave me a miracle. The BEST possible way for them to come and live with me. We were in Florida for a trade show, and planned to take the girls (and all the kiddos) to Disney World, since we were already down there. Then bring them to Arkansas for their summer vacation with us. Out of the blue (which I think is ALWAYS God) their Dad signed over custody to me . . . on the spot. No court date, no lawyers . . . he just signed the papers. We already had a van to load their stuff, we already were in Florida, we had already planned for them to come home with us. . . it WAS perfect.
That's how God works! Even though I have this miraculous testimony to share with all of you . . . I still struggle with being thankful. But especially with being thankful in advance!
How easy is it for us to be thankful for the things we can see and touch? How much more faith do you need to thank God for the things He hasn't given you yet?
*Vital Character ~ Thankfulness copyright 2005 LifeWay Press written by Caroline Waina.