The Power of Thanksgiving
By James H. Pence –
Have you ever been in a flood? Thankfully, I have not. But I have witnessed the destruction they can cause. Hurricane Katrina caused great devastation several years ago, but what nearly destroyed the city of New Orleans was not merely wind. It was a flood. When the levees broke, flood waters swept through the city. Five years later, New Orleans is still recovering from the damage.
A few weeks ago, the city of Dallas experienced a brief, torrential rain. Some parts of the city received nearly a foot of precipitation in only a few minutes. Entire neighborhoods were flooded by the late summer storm. That evening, the local TV news broadcast footage of the flooding. One of the most amazing images was of a Volkswagen Beetle floating away.
Think of it. A small car floated down the street as if it were no heavier than a child’s toy.
And it’s the power of a flood that I think of when I remember Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians. He tells them that they should “overflow” with thankfulness.
Over the years of my Christian life, I have discovered that when I give thanks, there is a power that I don’t fully understand. I can be facing a difficult problem, trial, even a tragedy that threatens to overwhelm me. But when I stop allowing my problems to crush me and begin to praise and thank God—when I “overflow with thankfulness”—God pushes those problems out of the way just as the Dallas flood moved that Volkswagen Beetle.
Don’t get me wrong. The problems don’t automatically go away just because I give thanks; however, my attitude changes. It’s as if God empowers that thankfulness to flood away all the things that are distracting me and pulling me away from Him. There is power in a flood.
Perhaps that’s why Paul also reminds us to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).
PRAYER: Lord, when trials, difficulties, and tragedies weigh me down, help me to overflow with thankfulness, and by that thanksgiving to flood away all that would take me away from You.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7 NIV).
Today’s devotion is by James H. Pence. James is an author, speaker, singer, and gospel chalk artist, but prefers to be known as a storyteller. To learn more about James and how he draws the stories of your heart, visit his Web site at: www.jamespence.com.