Connected through Thankfulness - 23 April 2018

Louise Gevers

“Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

Thankfulness is something I’ve embraced increasingly during the long months of living with the anomalous drought conditions in the Western Cape. Beautiful blue skies and picture-perfect surroundings exist along with exotic flowers which flourish splendidly in the dry conditions, and I’m so grateful, in spite of the crunchy, brown grass and withering gardens; because I’ve realised that God blesses us in all circumstances.

Looking for ways to save and eke out water is a constant challenge, but it’s elating to keep a few plants alive with what would have normally run down the drain; and it’s awe-inspiring to see the plants that survive because their roots go deep. It’s even more thrilling when the rain comes and we know the Lord has answered our prayers! Isn’t this a parable for we who have Christ as our source?

Every raindrop, dewfall, brief shower or thunderstorm - each one out of season - has embodied for me God’s grace and mercy and has brought greater joy than torrents of rain in season ever have. In fact, how often in times of plenty have we complained, “Enough!”? Being in need evokes thankfulness because we become conscious of our dependence on Christ and grow deeper in Him; when we take things for granted it hinders our gratitude, which then robs us of joy. A thankful heart helps us to be joyful, regardless of our circumstances, because we’re growing in faith.

Paul told the Thessalonians to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) because it’s easy in good times, but giving thanks in the dark times shows that we trust Christ completely to bring us through.  Finding it hard to give thanks may indicate that we’re drought-stricken – so overloaded with the effects of the world that we have lost our focus on Christ.

Everyone faces problems, but when we feel overwhelmed, we should remember that Jesus taught His disciples “… that they should always pray and never become discouraged.” Luke 18:1 GNT We can go to our Rock and name our blessings out loud; then commit every situation to Him in faith, with a thankful heart.

Prayer: LORD, You hold everything in the palm of Your hand. At the right time You bring the dark, heavy clouds of restorative rain to drench our dry land and satisfy our longing hearts. May our roots grow deeper in Jesus and our faith become stronger as we build our lives on Him. And may we overflow with gratitude in all circumstances. Amen


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