There was a wilderness season marked by sickness, death, and change. Just when I came up for air and felt a sense of normalcy, another event rocked everything I had ever taken for granted. A natural encourager, I was muted. Numb. My husband intervened and suggested a joint Bible study. We chose Chuck Swindoll’s Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance.
I related to so much of Job’s story. If anything, I felt like the wife. I didn’t understand how God could allow such pain. And what really was hard to comprehend was how Job carried himself. My husband took Job’s cue and challenged me to find the blessings. He wrote out a list of every single trial and walked me through thanksgiving.
It changed everything.
Today I encourage people in those wilderness seasons. I point them to Hosea 2:14 and explain how it is not God’s cosmic joke at their expense. The desert experience is a season, and it has purpose. That time and the others that followed prepare me. I don’t love it, but I do embrace the purpose of it. I feel chosen to learn from the Master, and how extra hard I cling to Him. For those experiencing similar situations, I encourage them to receive all He has, because what they learn will be used again. And above all, praise. Be thankful. I am convinced praise is a key to breakthrough. I also know the true defeated one, the enemy of our soul, he can’t stand to be near praise. So all the more reason to be intentional about thankfulness.
There is so much adversity lately. My Facebook message folder has been extra busy with people asking for prayer. Loved ones are treading water, ready to get to shore when another wave hits. It’s heartbreaking. That’s why I’m more intentional than usual inviting people to start Thanksgiving early.
Each November I hand my blog over to guests who share why they are thankful. I’ve been doing this for at least five years and I’m always surprised by how inspiring each post is. No year is the same, no post is the same. There are health stories, money miracles, family funnies, job thanks, and more.
This year is no exception. It’s even international with submissions coming as far as England. Everything from hearing from chefs to grandparents to authors. They are always fun reads but this year with political chaos and financial unrest, you want to check this out throughout November.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[a]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Job 1:21, NIV
If you’d like to submit a post, there’s still a few slots left, but don’t wait. All you have to do is write as little as a few sentences and as much as 750 words about why you are thankful. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a bio and optional picture. Sign off the way you want the world to know you (first name, full, anonymous.) I reserve the right to edit, but rarely do, and it is first come, first serve.