Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving and Peace

Two verses--Philippians 4:5-7 and Colossians 3:15-17--have resonated this past month as I've grappled with my grandma's death and as I've continued to transition into a new job, home, and life in Connecticut. Interestingly, they share the themes of thanksgiving and peace. As I've meditated on these verses, I've realized how closely related those ideas really are. In fact, thanksgiving begets peace. And that's been a beautiful concept for me leading up to Thanksgiving--and especially during this season when I've so needed the peace of God to just pervade my life and my heart.

Philippians 4:5-7 says "The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, make your requests know to God. And the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Some translations say "Be careful for nothing." I love that! We can forge boldly ahead in our lives if we are taking our concerns to the Lord with thankful hearts.

I think of Corrie ten Boom, one of my early heroines. While I was growing up, my mom would always remind me that Corrie and her sister thanked God even for the lice while they were imprisoned in a concentration camp for hiding Jews in their home. (The lice kept the guards away so that Corrie and Betsie could host a Bible study in the barracks.) There is something about a heart of gratitude that allows us to live freely and joyfully!

I also love Colossians 3:15-17: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

I'm thankful for so many things this year--for family and friends, for the blessing of a job and a ministry that I love, and most of all, for His grace poured out through Christ, setting us free to experience true gratitude and tangible peace.

Love and thanksgiving!

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