About five years ago, I attended a women’s Bible study at a dear friend’s home. It was such a good gift from God, offered in just the right season. At the time, I was homeschooling three young children and I was starved for community. Knowing that I had a couple hours every week to go and study God’s word, talk vulnerably with other women, and be welcomed with warmth into someone else’s home was a routine I needed and will always be grateful for.
Throughout a couple years we studied many books of the Bible and many other books written by some of today’s authors. In praying through and thinking about what to share with you all this week, I came up against a lot of brain fog and writer’s block. I felt a certain pressure knowing that this would be coming out the day before Thanksgiving and yet I wasn’t settled on just writing another blog on “giving thanks.”
And so, I prayed and asked God to lead me in what I should write about. If it was about giving thanks, then great! But if not, I wanted to be faithful in what He wanted to say and not just write about a topic because it’s “expected.” And because He is so good and so faithful God did lead me. He led me back to the days of that sweet little Bible study, to Psalm 107, and to a book that greatly impacted me, “Steadfast Love” by Lauren Chandler.
The book was written about Psalm 107 which begins “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” if you continue on and read the entirety of the psalm (and I sincerely hope you do!) you will notice a repetitive pattern. First, we read about suffering, rather in the form of a desert, bondage, folly, or a storm, and then, we read a line four times over that says “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” (Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28)
It’s not often that we associate thanks with suffering, but that’s exactly what this psalm does. It invites us to take ourselves back to the place of our own suffering, our deserts, bondage, folly, and storms and gives us, “the redeemed of the Lord”, the opportunity to give thanks and declare “The Lord is good! His love endures forever!”
So today, on this Thanksgiving Eve, I invite you to travel back in time to your own sufferings and remember how you yourself cried out and he delivered you. I pray this gives us all the faith to know that as we face hard things in the coming year we don’t have to fear. He was faithful then and he will be faithful now!
God, I thank you that when I was in the desert of dry religion and felt so far from you, that you came in and drenched me in the waters of relationship! You showed me what it was like not only to know you, but to experience you. Religion had left me starved and weak and you came and filled me with the feast of a real relationship, one that makes the weak strong.
Thank you for delivering me from the bondage of shame. I’ve messed up so many things in my life. I’ve endured loads of shame and yet, time and time again, you show up with a covering for my shame. You take me in my worst, most sinfulstate, and you tell me “there is no condemnation.” You really do turn shame into glory!
Thank you for being faithful and chasing after me in times that folly has told me “oh no Brittney, you know what’s best.” The truth of it is, I can NEVER know what’s best apart from you. I have followed the world too often in ways of thinking and in action, and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you have been faithful to forgive and show me a better way.
And God, thank you for weathering every storm right withme. The imprisonment of a parent at a young age, an unexpected teen pregnancy, and times of marriage that were painfully rocky. You have been there through it all. I’ve felt your presencethrough it all. Amid the tallest waves and the loudest thunder, you were my constant. Thank you that in every season I can say “I cried to you, and you DELIVERED me!”
Join me today in your own prayer of thankfulness through the suffering. May it rise as a sweet aroma to our wonderful Jesus, our savior, and the only one worthy of all thanks and praise.