Rest in Giving Thanks: Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals 6

This is another in a series of letters to those who have prodigals in their lives.  This is part 6 of the REST theme for this year’s Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals on June 2.Dear Lover of Prodigals,Why?  Why God?Why is my loved one making all these terrible choices?  Breaking my heart like this?Why don’t You do something, God?  Why am I having to go through so much hurt and loss?These kinds of questions are our natural response to loving a prodigal.  Why is this happening to me?  Why doesn’t God do something?Fighting against reality is exhausting.God calls us instead to a supernatural response:  to give thanks.  “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)Why would I thank God for all this pain?I can think of three wonderful things that happen when I say, “Thank You, Lord.”1.      My focus changes.  Instead of fixating on everything I hate about the reality of loving a prodigal, I begin to focus on God.  And on what He might be doing here.2.     My trust expands.  Just saying “Thank You, Lord,” implies “I trust You, God.  I believe You are truly God, and You are truly good.”  Each time I say it, I believe it more.3.     Doors open.  Saying “Thank You, Lord” is like a key that opens locked doors—doors we have secured by demanding God do things our way.  The thank-you key unlatches the bolt and gives God permission to do what He know is best—in His amazing ability to bring good from really bad.There is rest in giving thanks.Sometimes that is really difficult.  I found it helps, if I can’t yet say “thank you” for the latest thing my prodigal has done or not done, to think of something I can say “thank you” for.  Then another.  Or if even that is too much of a stretch, I go back to something really big that I am thankful for:  Christ’s death on the cross for me.Begin to cultivate the choice to give thanks in every circumstance.  The rest and freedom that come will grow in astounding ways.One sweet result for our family is that our former prodigal has learned to give thanks as well.  When he cut his head open with a chainsaw last year, the first thing he told me when I saw him at the hospital, was, “I said thank You, Lord.”So say “Thank You, Lord” and get some rest.It is just 5 weeks until our big day, June 2. I think this is almost the last of our devotionals that will focus on preparing ourselves to pray with purity, humility and effectiveness.  In the next weeks, we will be looking more at praying rest for our loved ones.Keep telling your friends who have a wanderer in their lives about our wonderful prayer community and our special day.  Email us at prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom to request an invitation.With gratitude to God for you,JudyFirst <<     Prev <    > Next