Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Giving Thanks Precedes the Miracle

“He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.” Matthew 15: 36-38

I spent three days in the hospital this past week for an intestinal infection.

While there, all the doctors and nurses were great to me, with one exception. She was one of my ICU nurses and happened to be quite pregnant. I could tell she wasn’t happy while helping me.

So I made a choice that I’ve started practicing. I used the supernatural power of thankfulness.

“I really do appreciate what you’re doing for me.”

She looked at me and I saw a flicker in her eye. “I mean, I know you would probably enjoy having your feet up right now, but you’re being kind to me.”

She smiled. Her countenance lit up.

Thanksgiving changes attitudes. The power of gratitude is not just manifested in a smile or a warm feeling; it can change the direction of a conversation, an action, even a life.

I finished the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp not long ago and it seared into my heart that thanks has the power of God. One example of many she gives is when Jesus fed the 5000. (See above - Matthew 15:36-38.) What does Jesus do before the miracle? He gives thanks. Thanksgiving precedes the miracle.

At a point when I was feeling quite frustrated in the hospital, my sister Karen called and prayed for me. During her prayer she started listed things she was thankful for, including the fact that my condition wasn’t more serious. After that call, I made my own gratitude list. My attitude changed. The miracle happened and I took my eyes off of “poor me” and put them on “Wonderful Him.”

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing the dishes in the morning while quite angry with John. I honestly don’t remember why. But I do remember being furious and silent, allowing the banging of all the dishes to do the talking for me. John asked me if I was okay. I said, “I’M FINE!”

Then the Spirit whispered to me the power of thanksgiving. I made a conscious choice and through gritted teeth I said, “Thank you for going to work so I don’t have to.” And a few seconds later, “I really appreciate that you put up with a lot at your work in order to provide for us.”

And then the miracle. Anger dissipated and my heart began remembering the admiration and love I have for my husband.

When you see someone down, give them a little gratitude with a prayer and watch His power at work. When you are feeling sorry for yourself, give thanks, and feel Him pull your focus away from yourself. And when you’re angry, give thanks, and watch one of His many miracles unfold inside of you.

By the way, you who are reading this right now: THANK YOU! By reading my scribbling you are allowing me to use the gift God has given me.


Bethany said...

Robbie, thank you for sharing this. I agree, there is a lot of power in thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. Thank you for your reminder.

Bethany said...

Thank you, Robbie, for this post. Thanksgiving, I agree, has some amazing power. I am thankful that you don't thump me because of my blunder just now. :-)

Robbie Iobst said...

I blunder all the time. Thank God for blunders, right? And thank YOU Bethany!