Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Time Constraints

God is outside of time. He has no time constraints. Peter says, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV)

We, of the instant gratification era, struggle to relate to this aspect of God. When God gives us a promise, we expect its fulfilment to be immediate. Perhaps the accounts of Jesus healing people that we read in the Bible further confuse us. There are phrases like, “immediately” or “at that same hour.”

I am sure we can all testify to healing that has taken place in answer to prayer but it took time, perhaps even years. Even we, as short-sighted as we are, understand that certain things take time. It takes time for the promise encased in an acorn to reach the fulfilment of an oak tree big enough to climb. It takes time for a good wine to be aged to the right state of maturity. The best artists and crafters know that it takes time to make a masterpiece.

In the first week of November last year, I slammed my finger in the car door. It is now much better, although not back to normal yet. At the top a semicircle of nail has pulled away from the nail bed. It made my nail look very long. When I trimmed it, I realized my mistake almost immediately. The skin below where the nail should have been was super sensitive. I even contemplated making a nail of plastic and sellotape just to protect it from touching or bumping anything. In the end I settled for cotton wool and a plaster. So I allowed it to grow again. Recently I noticed a ridge at the bottom of my nail and in the last couple of weeks it has crept upwards. It is a new nail growing on top or maybe underneath the old one. I am amazed. How does the bottom of my nail know that the top half is damaged? It is a miracle. It’s still little but it is a promise of a new nail.

The best response to a promise from God is thanksgiving, even if the fulfilment of the promise is not yet.

My Prayer

Father God, thank you for the new nail that is growing. I praise You that I am so fearfully and wonderfully made that my body just knows when extra protection is needed. Thank You for Your promises, found in the Bible. Please give me the eyes of faith to see their fulfilment and thank you. Amen.

Beyond Understanding

JusJoJan 27 January 2022

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

These are some of my favourite verses. The trouble with being anxious is that it has nothing to do with logic. There are tools and tricks to try to talk yourself out of anxiety but they don’t get to the heart of the thing. My Mom used to reason thus:

What is the worst thing that can happen to me in this situation? Can they kill me? Can they put me in prison? If the worst possible thing happens, can I cope? Will I get through it?

While these methods can work to a certain extent, they don’t touch the emotions, or the heart. In the Bible, the heart describes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities. That is why we need a peace that affects our hearts as well as our minds.

I first noticed this distinction when I was battling with a personal problem, an unhealthy affection. I stood on this verse for a number of weeks or maybe it was months, until the strong attraction weakened.

The peace that God gives as a direct result of our prayer and petition cannot be explained. It cannot be understood. It is beyond understanding but it can be felt. It is like the touch of our Father’s hand on our shoulder.

Image by Pixabay

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, today I pray for all those who are reading this post. May they experience that peace which passes understanding as Your gift. Amen.

Thanksgiving and Halloween

Thanksgiving and Halloween are typically American. Neither is part of the South African history or culture.

Many South African Christians of the older generation are against Halloween on the grounds that it is a celebration of evil. I heard a talk about twenty years ago by a policeman who told us about the increase of certain crimes on the 31st October, including rape and cruelty or dismemberment of domestic animals.

Others, perhaps younger, see Halloween as a harmless bit of fun for children. Children love dressing up and this is a great opportunity. Perhaps these younger people are more global citizens and have been exposed to international standards.

Thanksgiving is another American event, in fact, a public holiday. It is a time for families to get together and give thanks to God for all His blessings. Festival foods like roast turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are enjoyed.

One would think these American events have nothing to do with South Africans. Yet, come mid October, shops are full of skeletons, witches hats, evil masks, spiders and webs with plastic jack ‘o lanterns scattered about.

Come November, there are no great sales on turkey, no specials on cranberry sauce, no pumpkin pie, not even tinned pumpkin to make pumpkin pie. There are no thanksgiving events in shops or malls. Thanksgiving is not mentioned in any advertising. Families do not make special plans to get together to give thanks to God.

I find this disparity odd. Why does one American custom spread and another not? Could it be something to do with our fallen nature? Do we find it much more fun to indulge our darker side and dress up as something evil than to focus on God? Could it be that there is no commercial advantage in advertising gratitude?

Perhaps giving thanks to God need not wait for a special day. Being thankful, not only to God but to others, is a habit well worth cultivating. Every day.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thes 5:16-18 NIV)

My Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for all your blessings. I know that all good things come from You. Thank You for the wonderful people You have put in my life. May I never take them for granted. Truly, the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places and I am forever grateful. Amen.