I had to laugh this morning as I walked toward the storm door at the front entrance of our home and observed a flock (actually termed a ‘murder’) of crows spread out on our front lawn and the road outside our property. It brought back instant memories of my days at St Eugene’s Parochial School. I attended Catholic school six out of the first seven years of my schooling. Kindergarten through second grade was spent at St Rose School in the older section of our hometown. Following our move to a new home on the other side of town, I attended third grade at the practically brand new Matanzas Elementary Public School and then my parents were able to enroll me at St Eugene’s for the following year, where I went through fourth to sixth grades.
I have fond memories of the young, little Sister Flora in fourth grade. She had a good sense of humor, but clumsy coordination! One of her favorite tricks was to toss her chalkboard eraser at kids who were fooling around or talking and not paying attention. The only problem was that she ALWAYS hit the kid in front of the troublemaker instead!
Then there was the older, stern women we had in fifth grade. I do not recall her name, but I do remember her to be a good and fair teacher. The two best times in that class is what made me to laugh this morning. First was the time when she was lecturing the class on some subject when she suddenly stopped and turned toward the playground outside the window and proclaimed: “Look at the size of that crow!” That caused everyone to look outside and smile as she proceeded to forget the subject at hand and talked about crows for quite a while.
Then later that year there was the day when she had just finished verbally disciplining the class, walked backwards to her desk, so that she could continue to hold our attention with her stern look and went to sit down in her chair, only to misjudge its location and fall backwards. The whole class then broke into loud laughter as all you could see was her legs and feet sticking up over the desk! I have to give it to her though, as she handled it very gracefully and laughed along with us. (she was okay as far as we knew!) Those crows this morning made me think about that teacher and the funny photo-ripe opportunity of her legs and feet protruding from the back of the desk!
As I walked into our bedroom to get my wife up today and began to speak out the Word over her, I had to stop and think about all the times I give THANKS unto the Lord throughout the day. I realized that the first thing I do with all the scripture I declare over her is to say, “Thank you Lord for…” and confess the verse. My sensitivity to giving THANKS to the Lord was heightened during my study time when I read from and studied Colossians 3:17 where Paul teaches us that “Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (God’s Word ©)
One of my commentaries on the verse stated that “whatever we do or say in the name of Christ ought to be joined with thanksgiving. If we cannot give thanks, then we had better not do it or say it!”* That statement immediately got me to ask of myself if my thoughts, words and actions initiate thanksgivings to God within me and in any others that may witness them. What do you think about that? Have you ever asked yourself the same question?
Then I took it a step further as I looked at my activities over the last few days and wondered if I seek to find things that are thankful or complain-full as I look upon my daily life? Believe me, we’ve all been around people who complain all the time and it is not a pleasant environment to be stuck in… is it? Do my words and actions cause people to find it unpleasant in my presence? I sure hope not!
My wife and I read a book many years ago (in the late 70’s or early 80’s) that talked about giving thanks to God in all things (please notice that I didn’t say “for” all things but “in” all things) And while I don’t recall the name of that little book or its author, I do know that it established a mind set in us that we have never stepped away from! Basically it taught that if we are thankful for and to God in the midst of ANY situation, we keep the door open for Him to move and operate His will for us through it… no matter if it is a good or a bad situation.
I can remember standing in the emergency room with our first son as the doctor was attempting to sew up his bleeding head after a tumble off a neighbor’s patio table, with him crying out “Daddy don’t let them hurt me” and my faithful wife at my side beginning to wobble and turn white as a sheet at the sight of all the blood and discovering that I was mumbling over and over again, “Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus!”
Then again yesterday as I was helping my wife into her chair when her legs crumbled under her and I grimaced through a sore elbow to grunt the strength to hold her up and move her safely into the chair when the chair rolled backwards... Well… somehow I caught myself and found myself laughing and declaring “Thank you Jesus” while I panted over her and laughed at the humor in the midst of a trying situation. But more importantly… I was thankful for the Lord’s interceding in the situation! I believe those words of thanksgiving and the laughter that accompanied them, helped me to turn off any lies of discouragement and turn the situation into one of victory! (See I Corinthians 15:57 and 2 Corinthians 2:14)
So… what comes out of your mouth when things suddenly blow up around you? Is it auto-THANKSGIVING or fear and complaining? According to Colossians 3:17… whatever it is… it should be accompanied by THANKSGIVING! So take notice of and review your mouth this week… and see how good you can become at giving THANKS in all things!
Have a spectacular week! We just got approved for an Aussie adoption… so this should be a GREAT week for us! I THANK God for each of you and know that your confession this week will be… “In ALL things I am expecting to give THANKS unto God!”
*Be Complete, A Commentary of Colossians, Dr. Warren Wiersbe, Chapter 9