Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thess 5:16-18
Thankfulness was my topic in my Bible study today. The following statement hit me between the eyes: "Not everything that happens in life is His will. He didn't cause the crisis that an individual or a nation may be facing. He actually cannot give things that are not good, because he does not have them. God can give only good gifts because He is good, and He has only good gifts to give. So giving thanks in everything does not mean that the adversity came from God. But when you give thanks in the midst of an adverse situation, a difficulty that was intended to undermine your faith and even destroy you enables you to take hold of that situation and set it apart to God and His purposes." Bill Johnson
What does that mean to me?
To this day I receive question after question about our children in Liberia. No one understands. What I understand and share doesn't make sense. But in the back of their minds they question how God could allow these children to be raised in an orphanage. Some question if we heard right. Some doubt. Some condemn. And I totally get it, because I have been in the same place.
I have allowed anger, bitterness, and disappointment fill my heart and close parts of my heart from God. But when I sit and ponder all that God has done through my life...the big things as well as the minor, God has proved Himself faithful and true. He has never left me, and has continued to pour His love on me. He continues to show His goodness in my life. Bottom line, a good God doesn't do something bad and I have reason to be thankful in spite of Elijah and Ruth being here or not.
And that is where I'm at - a heart of thankfulness. Thank you God for providing Elijah and Ruth a home, food and provision. Thank you for keeping them healthy and well taken care of. Thank you for the people who have been placed in theirs and our lives to give us connection. I am thankful God, you have allowed me to go and hold them. Thank you for the hope that you have shown us throughout the past four years as we wait. Oh God, I so appreciate how you have held our hearts, wiped our tears away as well as theirs. Thank you for not walking away from me when I have been bitter and angry toward you, but instead you held me that much tighter. Thank you that I don't have to understand any of this ... but I can trust you know what is best and will take care of it all. Thank you for your love for each of us. Thank you for never turning your heart away from me and remaining so good. Thank you, thank you and thank you for you...I love you so much. I choose to be thankful as I have so much to be thankful for, and through it all I can see how big you are. I open my heart fully to you, asking and receiving your love in all areas of my heart. I give everything over to you completely, today and everyday. No more hiding, no more doubt ... but rather my mind, heart and soul fully devoted to you - and thank you for receiving it always.
So on this very special day I say THANK YOU GOD for all these things, and blessing our son with another birthday. Thank you for being the perfect parent in His life. This special day we celebrate the evidence of YOU in his life.
HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY ELIJAH!!!!!!