Thursday, August 23, 2007

Today, Let's Choose Gratitude...

...I had the benefit of being prostrate on the floor with a friend this year, weeping and entreating God for our children, when she took me to Acts 16 and had me read verses 25-26 out loud. She quizzed me about what the passage was saying, and like a good student, I said, "Yes, I know. I'm stuck and I need to practice praising God." But then she pointed out something I had never seen before. Paul and Silas's discipline of praying and praising not only broke their own chains, but it also broke the chains of every other inmate in the prison.

This has been a profound truth for me to meditate on. When I give myself to acknowledging the mighty sovereign God of the universe in the midst of my great struggles and heartaches, I not only begin a process of release for my own heavy heart, but I also influence others who are in chains to lift their eyes heavenward, setting them free, as well. ~ Karen Beck, Bible teacher, mentor



"But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened" (Acts 16:25-26).




The key as I see it is we need to choose to act in faith even when we don't feel God's power in our situation. Remember, it is a fragrant aroma to our King like none other when we praise Him in the middle of unanswered prayer and unthinkable heartache. Is it easy? No. Choosing gratefulness is hard.




THE SUPREME CHALLENGE TO ANYONE FACING CATASTROPHIC LOSS INVOLVES FACING THE DARKNESS OF THE LOSS ON THE ONE HAND, AND LEARNING TO LIVE WITH RENEWED VITALITY AND GRATITUDE ON THE OTHER...lOSS CAN DIMINISH US, BUT IT CAN ALSO EXPAND US...LOSS CAN FUNCTION AS A CATALYST TO TRANSFORM US. ~ JERRY SITTSER

Pilot Mom

9 comments:

passing-thru said...

AMEN

Terry said...

Your post about Paul and Silas reminds me of the time, Donna that we were at a concert in Tonawanda, New York listening to the Kingsmen Quartet.
Before we sang the beautiful hymn, "How Great Thou Art",Parker Jonathan told us, the audience to sing it as loud and fervently as we could, so that the the people drinking in the hotel next to the Riviera Theatre would notice our happiness in the Lord and would want some for themselves!
That is why, I think that the prisoners did not escape.
They had been listening to Paul and Silas singing, and praising the Lord even though these dear two ones of God's own children were in chains.
I wonder if in his deep sleep that the jailer had heard them too...and wanted some of this for himself!

Thank you for such a great post Donna!
I am so glad that you are back!...Love Terry

donna said...

Hi Terry...Thanks for the wonderful comment, but I can't take the credit for this post....
donna

PILGRIM PALS said...

Sorry! I have such a difficult time remembering to sign my postings! Thank goodness when I comment I don't have to remember. I will keep on trying to remember everyone! *blush*

Terry said...

Oh it was Pilot-mom!
How did I miss that?
I guess Donna that THAT means that Claire is the night owl!!
Love Terry

Hmm...Thanks for such a great post Pilot-mom!!

hebrews 11:1 said...

Gratefulness....I will try to remember that..The optimistic, sunshoine youth I've always been, but every so often a cloud comes over or a bit...

LPP

Vicki said...

Ohmygoodness! That's exactly the passage I read today while looking for comfort regarding my own afflictions here. Paula & Silas were praising God in their Midnight hour!

passing-thru said...

Another great post --- good stuff

Thanks so much for sharing --
old time religion, prostrate on the floor and praying --
GOOD STUFF

susanwalkergirl said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing Donna. So deep, so profound and so true. In fact Donna...we must remember...we bring more honor glory to God when we praise Him and trust Him when it's still dark, when our prayer remain unanswered, when God in heaven seems silent.

Thank you for being an encouragement to the body of Christ! Susan