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?

with thanksgiving,
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.


Cheri Bunch said...

This is the third time this morning (a whole hour earlier than where you are) that I have come across an exhortation declaring the power of gratefulness. My son called at 7 this a.m. to tell me of one of his friends who began rising every morning and first thing bowed to give the Lord thanks for all the good things in his life. This young man has been sick for years and all of his health problems have gone away since he started this daily habit.
My daily devotional and now your post. As I asked my husband, "Do you think the Lord is trying to tell me something!!!"
I'm listening!!!

I am thankful for you, Susan! Thankful for this 40 Days you are blessing us with! Thankful for Jesus and abundant life! Whew! I feel better already!!!

Love you,

quietspirit said...

A beautiful post. We need to learn over and over again to give thanks to God.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan -

We have more in common than I thought! Years ago, I'd have to do some serious praying to even pick up my car keys. Now, I'm able to drive, knowing the Lord is taking care of me.

Susan :)