Ezra 3:8-11: "When the builders laid the foundation...with thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: '...his love...endures forever'" (vv.10-11).
"I wonder if I've done permanent damage to my mind and body," admitted a friend who had just left a destructive career environment. "As I begin this journey out of workaholism and burnout, sometimes I'm hopeful, other times I'm racked with doubt. I guess I'd better wait before I count my blessings."
At one time I too was frightened that total restoration was not possible. After all, I had "fried" my brain and soul.
Perhaps the Israelites experienced similar feelings. They had been freed from the oppressive chains of the Babylonians. Restoring the temple in Jerusalem was their goal, but many obstacles remained. The destruction was massive. Could they ever recover what they once had?
With such a huge task ahead, one might expect the Israelites to hold their praise until the temple reconstruction was completed. Yet as the foundation was being laid, they shouted, "God is good."
Learning new ways to live is risky. There is much work to be done and many obstacles to overcome. At first glance, it might seem like an unlikely time for Thanksgiving. However, even in our confusion and doubt, we can be grateful for evidence of growth and praise God.
Lord, your love endures forever -- before, during, and after the restorative process.
Can you think of a time when being grateful seemed like a strange or even ridiculous thing to do, but you found ways to thank God, anyway?
WIN A FREE BOOK! The Bible text (in the photo I took of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem) and this blog post remind me of my devotional book, It's a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life. I'd like to give you an autographed copy. Make a comment here and I'll enter your name for a drawing on THANKSGIVING DAY.
11/25/2014 07:43:28 am
Today, I feel crabby.I am choosing to think God despite my crabbiness.while it might seem unusual for me to do that, I know that in choosing to be thankful I am already refocusing and allowing God to change the i'm happy you stayed out of my heart.our God is a God of compassion and mercy and even when we are crabby, God is good.
11/25/2014 09:20:46 am
Crabby or not, you are loved by a good and compassionate and merciful God, Bobbi Jo, just like you said. :-) Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for sharing even when you don't feel like it! And I've entered your name into my drawing.
11/25/2014 08:51:49 am
Thank you Joan for following your call to 'go and unbind' others from their burden of perfectionism, in all it's insidious forms. The results and victories have been amazing! It's been my blessing getting to know you my friend!
11/25/2014 09:22:04 am
Thank you, Donna! It's a privilege to call you "friend" also. Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for dropping by to comment. You're entered into the drawing.
11/25/2014 09:53:06 am
I am thankful for being overwhelmed...tired...worn out...not given any breaks. This translates into being a Mom of two little kiddos. I can't praise God enough for allowing me to be a Mom and for all the opportunities I get to care for my kids in a way that glorifies God. :-) I am thankful everyday for even the little things.
11/26/2014 02:54:01 am
Love your grateful "mommy-heart", Melissa. Thanks for sharing. I do recall those full, tiring, sometimes-blurry-eyed days of mommyhood with young children. May God give you little glimpses of rest and refreshing, too. You're entered into the drawing.
11/26/2014 03:51:13 am
I HAD to find ways to thank God during my season of infertility. It wasn't always easy to execute but it would always produce a lifting of the burden. Eventually, I overcame infertility and even wrote a book to encourage others who struggle with it.
11/26/2014 07:02:23 am
You're welcome, Evangeline. Thank you, also, for encouraging men and women who hurt with their disappointments. Thank you for sharing. You're entered into the drawing.
11/26/2014 10:33:18 am
I love this. It is so hard to be thankful during difficult times. Over the past couple of years, I've been fighting the effects of fibromyalgia. It's often been hard to find anything to feel thankful about. However, after participating in several Bible studies and women's fellowship at my church, I began to see my situation with new eyes. I have learned that coming to God each day with a thankful heart draws me closer to His heart. It strengthens me for facing whatever that day holds. And I believe over time, all of this is preparing me for a purpose which He has already prepared for me. I believe that purpose may have to do with encouraging others through healing processes. No, I did not ask for fibro. I will never enjoy, or willingly accept the pains of fibro. But I have accepted that while God is healing me, He is developing in me an attitude of stewardship of my body, as well as an "attitude of gratitude" for the favor He grants me each day. Each day, through thankfulness, I renew my faith in my Heavenly Father. Each day I am also reminded of His faithfulness toward me. I will keep praising Him. Each day.
11/27/2014 02:13:13 am
Thank you for your thoughtful and inspiring words, Lois! I'm sorry that you're dealing with fibro. That's not fun. As you probably know, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia years ago.
11/27/2014 11:10:20 am
Congratulations to Lois Pepple! I pulled your name out of the bowl. You have won an autographed copy of my devotional book, It's a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life. Happy Thanksgiving! I will snail mail you the book. Please send me an email on the contact page of this website and send me your mailing address. Or text me your mailing address to 480-635-2730. Thanks.
Leave a Reply.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.