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Thank You Therapy

Posted by Joyce Wachsmuth on

This week when my husband Doug and I went for a walk, he asked the familiar question at this time of the season, “What are you thankful for?” Several years ago, I had our children and grandchildren write what they are thankful for at our Thanksgiving dinner. The grandchildren were younger then, so some drew pictures and generally they were thankful for their parents, their pets, etc. It is great to bring the cards out every year. You and I know how in each year we have challenges as well as victories and it is difficult to be thankful for everything!
However, the apostle Paul wrote an exhortation in the book of Philippians in chapter four on being thankful. It is interesting to note that right before he gave his exhortation, he encouraged two women, Euodia and Syntyche, to agree with each other. Paul asked the Philippians to help these women resolve their conflict because they had ministered with him diligently in the cause of the gospel. The Scripture does not say what they were in disagreement about, but Paul wanted their fellow believers to help them (verses 1-3). Verse 4 begins with “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again. Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.”
Whenever Doug and I face periods of difficulty we started a practice that we call, “Thank you therapy.” We each state what we are thankful for and usually it begins by thanking God that we have life and breath, that we belong to Him and are grateful that He saved us, and eventually we can thank Him for the difficult circumstances.  What we have found in doing this practice is that the Lord lifts our spirit and we find peace in the midst of the trial.
Sometimes the holidays can bring about some anxiousness in relationships, family dynamics, and our circumstances.  We need to remind each other that by prayer and petition with thanksgiving we can pray and ask the Lord for what we want. He delights in answering our requests and to be present with us in the circumstance.
This week has been very historical in our church experience as our pastor candidate spent ten days with us in our home. We had a chance to see him up close, as well as hear him preach for two Sundays.  We also had a chance to meet his wife and their girls. Their son stayed home with grandparents. Let’s continue to pray for the Lord’s will as decisions are made this week.


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