Thanksgiving is right around the corner. In my experience one of the greatest tools for giving thanks is to remember.
I remember a season when ministry was, quite frankly, not going well at all. Criticism was coming from every direction, and Steve and I were tired… I mean dead tired. Honestly, we were ready to quit! One morning we received an email from our son JJ, who was in college out of state.
JJ, knowing we were struggling, wrote, “Dad, don’t forget the miracles of the past. God’s used you before, and He will even now.” That short email reminded me of Asaph’s choice: “I will remember the deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 77:11).
During a dark season of doubt, Asaph made the pivotal choice to remember how God’s goodness had sustained him in the past; that choice to remember transformed Asaph’s attitude and gave him sustaining hope. You and I can follow Asaph’s example and choose the discipline of remembering:
Remember the Times God Gave You Songs in the Night.
I remembered my songs in the night (Psalm 77:6).
Think back over the past year and remember the times when you couldn’t sleep—whether because of a toddler’s fever, or worry over finances, or fear over a dreaded disease—and God unexpectedly showed up and sustained you. Maybe your mind went to songs of His faithfulness. Pause and give God thanks for sustaining you and supporting you during those long nights. Remember, He didn’t leave you in the dark. He brought hope with the morning light.
Remember the Miracles of the Past Year.
Yet, I will remember your miracles (Psalm 77:11).
Maybe your miracle came in the form of money to pay a debt you never thought you’d be able to pay. Or maybe your miracle came in the form of a healed relationship that you feared would never be reconciled. Or maybe your miracle came in the form of a child who was healed when a fever was raging. Remember these miracles and thank God. Praise Him that when hope feels lost, He is always working! Thank Him for the miracles He is working on your behalf.
Remember the Times When He Parted the Waters.
Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters (Psalm 77:19).
This past year, I felt in my heart that I was supposed to record a video series for my Bible study, Who Do You Say That I Am? I spent many nights praying about this, but it looked like it was going to be impossible, in part because of my schedule and in part because of how expensive it was going to be. God parted the waters in the most magnificent way! He provided for me to record all 8 sessions over the period of two weekends at a women’s conference where I was already scheduled to speak. And He provided an amazing videographer who was willing to work with Moody Publishers. As I look back and remember, I am filled with thanksgiving and praise to my God.
Friend, if you feel low on gratefulness, try remembering. Remember the goodness of the Lord. Make a list of all the ways you saw God work over the past year and watch how your spirits rise!
We had a delightful time with our board from Reach Beyond over the past week. For the next few weeks I’ll be home writing.
How you can pray:
Please pray as Steve heads east this week to visit some key partner churches for Reach Beyond. Pray for favor as we seek to partner more effectively.
Please pray as I write. I mean, I really need to write! I am the “project manager” for the new book Steve and I are working on called Listen Well, Lead Better.And hey, if you’re willing to pray as we write, would you let me know? I would love to hear of those who are praying!~
Please pray as Steve and I both schedule speaking for 2019–2020. If you’d like to schedule either or both of us for your event, please contact me! Or you can reach out to Matt Kroeker with Outreach Speakers at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (719)955-9607.