“Thank him. Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.” Psalm 100:4-5 MSG

THANKFUL FOR ALL THINGS

 

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,
    all-generous in love,
    loyal always and ever.
Psalm 100:4-5 MSG

It is mid-October and our part of the Manitoba prairies woke to a hard frost, the ground white and crispy. I sat in my comfy chair, wrapped in a fleece blanket, coffee steaming in my hand, looking out at the new morning. A debate began to rise in my head, competing voices wanting their say.

“Oh no, winter is here. It will get colder. My body will hurt more than ever. Sleet and snow will make it even harder to get out of the house. The days will grow short, darkness taking over…” whimpered my flesh.

“That all may be true” my spirit agreed, “but you have a warm house and… ”

“… and higher electricity bills!” came the retort.

“Quiet, please – my turn” my spirit continued. “You already had the chance to harvest the fruits of your garden. The cold chased away the mosquitos and ticks. You can look forward to hot soups and stews and fresh baked breads… ”

Savoring my coffee, I knew I had a decision to make. What attitude I carried into the day was my choice. It would be so very easy to be swamped by negative thoughts, but what benefit would be there in allowing myself to be righteously miserable?

 

BEING THANKFUL FOR ALL THINGS CAN HELP BRING PEACE

 

In Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, I recently read the following devotion:

“When many things seem to be going wrong, trust Me.  When your life feels increasingly out of control, thank Me. These are supernatural responses, and they can lift you above your circumstances. If you do what comes naturally in the face of difficulties, you may fall prey to negativism. Even a few complaints can set you on a path that is a downward spiral, by darkening your perspective and mind-set. With this attitude controlling you, complaints flow more and more readily from your mouth. Each one moves you steadily down the slippery spiral. The lower you go, the faster you slide; but it is still possible to apply brakes. Cry out to Me in My Name! Affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel. Thank Me for everything, though this seems unnatural – even irrational. Gradually, you will begin to ascend, recovering your lost ground.

When you are back on ground level, you can face your circumstances from a humble perspective. If you choose supernatural responses this time – trusting and thanking Me – you will experience My unfathomable Peace.”

We all need that peace, don’t we?

 

In his poem Thanks, W. S. Merwin seems to have learned the same:

 

THANKS

 

Listen
     with the night falling we are saying thank you
     we are stopping on the bridges to bow
from the  railings
     we are running out of the glass rooms
     with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
     and say thank you
     we are standing by the water thanking it
     standing by the windows looking out
     in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
     after funerals we are saying thank you
     after the news of the dead
     whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
     in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
     remembering wars and the police at the door
     and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
     in the banks we are saying thank you
     in the faces of the officials and the rich
     and of all who will never change
     we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
     our lost feelings we are saying thank you
     with the forests falling faster than the minutes
     of our lives we are saying thank you
     with the words going out like cells of a brain
     with the cities growing over us
     we are saying thank you faster and faster
     with nobody listening we are saying thank you
     we are saying thank you and waving
     dark though it is

 

GIVING THANKS: A POETRY PROMPT

 

My poetry prompt then, is giving thanks. You can approach the subject in different ways:

  • Making a list of all the good things for which you are thankful.
  • Making a list of hardships, still finding a way to choose gratitude (These are the hard thank-yous.).
  • Writing a letter-poem of thanksgiving to God.
  • Creating a blessing to declare during your Thanksgiving gathering.

The Lord gave me the following words after I read Merwin’s poem:

 

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed,
perplexed, but not driven to despair,
persecuted, but not forsaken,
struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 RSV

Morning Song

 

I woke this morning singing
words arising from my spirit
without forethought
words of adoration, words of praise
words of gratitude
I thanked Him
for love, for light, for life
I thanked Him
for His plans, His purposes
and continuing on
I even sang thanksgiving for pain
knowing I may be crushed
but never, no never destroyed

I woke this morning singing
words of adoration, words of praise
words of gratitude

 

As Canadians, we celebrated our Thanksgiving earlier in October, while in the USA that celebration is still ahead. During this special season, I challenge all of us, myself included, to choose trust and gratitude.

Allow your spirit to say to your mind, as mine did, “Quiet! It’s my turn.” Allow your words and praises to erupt and when they do, capture them on paper. We’d love for you to share those words with us so we can join you in praise.

 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

You can view our Submission Guidelines here. When submitting a poem, please complete the release form on our Permissions page. Email your submission including a headshot, brief bio, and links to your website, social media, and any book titles you’ve authored as applicable to share@chronic-joy.org.

We look forward to reading your poems!

Karin Fendick

Karin Fendick

Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer

Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord, saved by grace, a worshiper, a poet, a broken heart, a lover of words, His work in progress on the Potter's wheel. She is hungry for truth and amazed by love. After five years in Africa, Karin and Rick (her beloved husband of twenty years), are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. She is the author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).

Discovering Gratitude

Gratefulness is choosing to focus on God rather than ourcircumstances. Fixing our eyes on Jesus reminds us of His gracious, compassionate love and unending faithfulness.

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