“Give thanks until you become thanks” – Graham Cooke
It seems when we are at our most desperate, when our backs are really against the wall, that we get to make brave decisions about what is true and valuable, and what really isn’t. My wife and I put our heads on our pillows tonight in the reality that we will wake in the morning for the first time in 23 years of marriage without full-time income. This wasn’t our plan, but we’ve never put much value in our plans. When we married, we gave vows to each other and before our God and we said some things we really meant. That we would serve Him no matter what the circumstances and that it would be the same in our heart whether in sickness or health, in poverty as in wealth. He’s kept his side of the bargain, and we’re keeping ours.
Our thoughts tonight are not those of despair, anger or loneliness. No, that’s not how communion with the Creator works. His world is abundant resources, authentic community, unlimited power, extravagant grace, unmerited mercy and abounding love. Income or no income, we get a seat at His table and His table is lavish feast. He’s never let us go, He’s never left us alone, His presence is the air we are to breathe.
I get what Graham is trying to say, ‘give thanks until you become thanks.‘ We get to choose what we attach our attention and allegiance to. We can make attachments with our problems, our circumstances, our limitations, our short-comings, our trials, our bills etc. and wallow in the pity of what isn’t working out. OR we can choose to not make our agreements there, and rather ‘set our minds on things above’ where the resources to change our situation are. We can attach our attention, our attitude, our mind, our heart, our very soul to the feasting table of the Kingdom of God. While we wait, we have amazing company at that table. It’s our life, it’s true life. And . . . it’s enough.
There is an enemy who used to feast on my predisposition to depression, to darkness, to isolation, to destruction . . . but I don’t feel like making those choices anymore. I’m giving thanks until I become thanks and I hope that really pisses him off. He kept me in bondage to spirals of negativity for as long as I can remember and so tonight on behalf of my family and our future, I declare vengeance over the enemy’s plans. Our focus, attention and allegiance is fixated on the One who made all, governs all and is making all things new. Thankfulness is an act of war; vengeance is choosing these things.
I don’t know how long our situation will remain the same. I don’t know if it will be hours, days, weeks, months or years. I just know that when I give thanks until I become thanks that I experience peace, power, perspective and abundant joy. Sitting at His table is an awful lot of fun no matter what circumstances I’m in. In His Kingdom and at His table; I’m filthy rich. That’s all we need, it’s enough.
“1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” -Colossians 3 (The Message)