The Thanksgiving Key
Today the morning news warned it’s a Gridlock Alert Day. For some that means - stay away from the city! But to me it means - everybody wants to go to NYC! Fun, fun, fun! Ok, maybe not for those who have to work, work, work.
Now to be honest, I have an aversion for crowds. Actually, aversion isn’t a strong enough word. Claustrophobia. Dread. Terror. For years, crowded places caused me actual panic attacks. Once after a concert in Central Park, the crowd was so dense that I was carried along to the exit without my feet touching the ground. I think that’s when the panic attacks started.
So you’d think hearing a Gridlock Alert warning would cause fear and trembling. Well, not any more! Can I hear an Amen!!
Perfect love casts out fear (1 Jn 4:18). That is my testimony. So I’d like to say that I never have fears anymore.
But that wouldn’t be true.
Certain triggers still cause my blood to drain to my feet, my chest to constrict, my heart to palpitate. A gridlock of emotions. That’s when Phil. 4:6 comes to life:
Do not be anxious about anything,
Well Paul that’s easy for you to say. Sure - just don’t be anxious. Got it. Yeah right.
but in every situation,
every? As in all, each, any, entire, without exception?
by prayer and petition,
do begging, pleading, beseeching count?
Ooooo - there it is - the key. When the anxiety monster rears its ugly head, it is thanksgiving that opens the door to peace. Is there something you are thankful for? Start with one. Then start a list.
present your requests to God.
When I approach the Lord with anything other than a thankful heart, I miss out on the blessing of His presence.
Maybe it’s not crowds that trigger anxiety for you. Maybe it’s stress from relationships, work, health problems, yours or someone else’s. Whatever the situation, coupling prayer with thanksgiving is sure to produce Phil. 4:7 -
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I love to host Thanksgiving each year. But why limit thanksgiving to one day? If giving thanks is a daily experience, peace will be too.