Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day three with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the times of refreshing that God brings into our life.
Thankful for Times of Refreshing
“Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.”
Proverbs 25:25 (NIV)
As I continue contemplating yesterday’s thought of being thankful for the indescribable gift of God that we have been given through His Son, Jesus, I am also thankful for the refreshing that comes from the good news found in God’s Word. There has been no greater distance traveled in the sharing of good news to mankind than the journey Jesus made from heaven to earth. As ambassadors of God’s kingdom, we have the privilege and responsibility to share that good news with others so they too would be refreshed.
As I thought about the above verse from Proverbs, I began to recall times when cold water has been most refreshing to me. There were the summer days as a youth stacking hay in the uppermost parts of the barn, the garden work under the blazing sun, the early adult years working on a commercial roofing crew where the only thing hotter than the air temperature was the hot tar being used to lay the fiberglass roofing felt, and summer days when the outside work just had to be done regardless of the difficulty. In all of those times, and so many more, there is a forgotten part that takes place just before the refreshing — the shock!
Sometimes the truth of God’s Word is such a shock to the way we’ve been living life that we’re not so sure we want the refreshing it offers — or if it even has the ability to refresh at all. I am thankful that life has taught me the momentary shock of a tall glass of ice cold water is worth the eventual refreshing that it brings. I am more thankful that God’s Word brings a lasting refreshment to my life that is so powerful the shock of conviction and needed change melts away quickly as the love of God transforms my heart, mind, and soul. In this process, thankfulness becomes the fuel that helps keep the refreshing alive through the hills and valleys of a life filled with things which bring weariness.
Have you been refreshed by the good news from a distant land? How has that news changed you? When do you most need reminded of the refreshing that comes from God’s Word? Does the way you live and share the truth of God’s Word bring refreshing to others even if it has a moment of shock to it? Why? How does choosing to be thankful for the refreshing that comes from God help you to refresh others? What role does gratitude have in how refreshed you feel each day? How will your thankfulness for God’s refreshing help you to share it?
I pray that you and I would be thankful each day for the good news of the transforming power of Jesus that comes from a land so far away yet so very close.