Happy New Year! I am deeply grateful that God has blessed me to see 2017.
I am also thankful for this blog. Regardless of the number of people who read it, Daily Thankful has been an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience for me. Practicing daily gratitude and prayer to God for His abundant blessings is something that I plan to continue well into the new year.
It occurs to me that you may not know how and why this blog came to be. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, 2016 was a rough year (I gather this was true for other people, too). Anyway, I was in the midst of a very difficult situation, and did not see a way out. I was praying regularly, read my Bible, and was consulting with trusted advisors to determine my next steps, but I still felt like I was stuck. I really didn’t see a way out!
In the midst of this darkness and confusion, I got the distinct impression from the Lord that He wanted me to start this blog. You have to understand that this was not something that I had considered before; the idea literally came out of nowhere. In my experience, when something like this happens, either God is trying to get my attention, or the enemy of my soul is trying to distract me in some way. It occurred to me, though, that the enemy would not likely lead me to start a Christian-based gratitude and prayer blog, so I figured that this idea had its origins from Lord Himself. If I’m honest, my first reaction was something like, “Seriously? You want me to do this, now?”
In my mind, it made more sense to take on a project like this when my way was clearer, and I had a better sense of where my path was headed. Starting a daily gratitude and prayer blog in the midst of chaos, pain, and confusion simply did not make a whole lot of sense to me. It occurred to me, however, that God’s ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts. As it says in Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NLT):
“Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.”
I also remembered that, in my past experience, the things that make sense to God usually only make sense to me in hindsight, after a significant interval of time has elapsed. So, I decided to go for it, and Daily Thankful was born.
I had little or no experience with WordPress prior to this blog. I created an account, prayed about a name for the blog (someone else owns http://dailythankful.wordpress.com, by the way), and then just started writing. Each day, I asked God to remind me of something specific for which I can be grateful, and I asked for an image to go along with it. So far, He’s been remarkably faithful in providing both.
For the first time in awhile, I felt stuck with my blog entry for today. I prayed as was my custom, but nothing came forward, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Then it hit me: Today, I can give thanks for this blog. I am so very thankful for it, because in the process of focusing on gratitude each day, I’ve noticed a tremendous shift in how I think about and see the world. Even though my personal circumstances aren’t 100% clear, I feel hopeful and optimistic for the future. Moreover, I trust that God will do as He says: He will meet my needs each day, and He will take care of me, just as He has always promised to do.
That’s where the Scripture from Isaiah comes in today. When you get right down to it, I am most thankful for God’s heart toward me, and for all of His creation. He longs to be compassionate to each of His children, and He wants to take care of us. Even when I turn away and do things that hurt Him, He still wants to have a relationship with me (I need to confess my sin, of course). This is a marvelous truth that never gets old! It sparks wonder and tremendous gratitude in my heart.
So here is my prayer for today: Thank You, God, for reminding me to be thankful – daily. Thank You for reaching out, wanting to be my friend, loving me, and forgiving me, despite my many faults. May I never forget this marvelous truth, this incredible gift of grace.
Thanks also for the Daily Thankful blog. I ask that You use it for Your glory, both now and in the year to come. In Your name I pray, Amen.