Fickle Feelings and Thankful Thinking

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.
Psalm 103:2

I’m too stressed out to do the Hallelujah! thing, so y’all go ahead without me.

That’s no excuse, truly. My heart should erupt over God’s goodness, His mercy which virtually drowns me daily, and His provision which is always, just as Paul said, “exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Given all that, I should be doing a marathon dance-off with the angels, but the emotions just won’t cooperate today. I’ll wager the reasons are very familiar to you: too many undone tasks, too many “Where do I start?” moments, too much uncertainty about How to do the What’s, When they’re to be done and Where, not to mention Why is there never enough time, money, or energy?

This is rank unbelief venting, for sure. Canaan looms ahead with bountiful fruit and good land, but giants are, for some perverse reason, easier to focus on. It’s an old story. (Numbers 13)

But that doesn’t mean I’m ungrateful. I am, in fact, even now remembering His benefits, exercising my will to focus my thoughts where they belong despite emotions that are far less governable. And you know what? If thankfulness can mean mental recognition of benefits received, then I am indeed a thankful man.

I’ll admit that I feel dry. Not because of any serious trouble in my life, which is going pretty darned well, thank you. But because – well, who knows? Our souls are the funniest things, susceptible to emotional shifts defying clear reason. So if the Judges are going to score my level of thankfulness (or love, for that matter) by what I feel, then I’m out of the game.

Dry emotions or not, though, my mind is nevertheless categorizing my Father’s history of faithfulness, and that makes for one lovely chronicle. Dwelling on it, I’m in much better shape to host a Thanksgiving dinner
with integrity.

In fact, not only am I committed to not forgetting His benefits, I’ve decided to brag about them, openly and clearly. My less than exuberant feelings have no permission to stifle my big mouth, which will declare, today and tomorrow especially , that I’m the recipient of immeasurable benefits rained on me by an amazing heavenly Father who interrupted my life when I wanted nothing to do with Him, gave me the faith to trust His promises, kept me from perpetual Prodigal-hood when I wandered, and sustains me, uses me, never gives up on me, and keeps me on my toes with a You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet way of throwing new joys in my direction.

So let feelings be what they may; they’re fickle. Let life throw its best shot at us; we’re covered with an “All things work together for good” guarantee. Let the mind recall the good, and let the heart be heeded only when it agrees, and ignored when it disputes.

Then above all, let the Redeemed of the Lord say so.

A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to you. And come on, say it with me:



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