Thursday, November 13, 2008

Overflowing with Thankfulness

I hadn't planned to post today. Like many of you, it's an especially busy time for me. However, I received a message this morning I simply had to share. (It may be just as much for me than for anyone else.) If you look below, you will see that just yesterday my Word-Filled Wednesday was Colossians 2:6-7. This morning as I opened this message, I immediately took note of its scriptural basis...Colossians 2:6-7. While some may call this coincidence, I know better. God's repeats are a call to take a second look, to see what I missed in this passage the first time. Maybe He intends a second look for some of you, too. Step away from your busy-ness for just a moment and hear His voice through this message.

Overflowing with Thankfulness
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Colossians 2:6-7: "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" (NIV)
~ ~ ~ ~
I hate organ recitals. Not pipe organs, especially, but this kind:

"How are you today, Gladys?"

"Terrible, just terrible. Did I tell you about my gall bladder acting up?"

"Yes, Gladys."

She doesn't seem to acknowledge my, "Yes," but launches into a full-scale report on gall bladders around the world, and hers in particular. When she sees my eyes beginning to glaze over, Gladys falters for a moment. She knows she has to switch gears quickly to keep me from nodding off.

"And I have this terrible skin rash that drives me so crazy that I can't sleep at night."

I am trying hard to be polite. "Oh, I'm sorry…."

I attempt to stop myself, but it is too late. The ill-fated word has crossed my lips -- "sorry" -- and now I have fed Gladys her first morsel of real food for the day. She seems to take new energy, and as she describes her itching, I begin to sense little crawling things in my scalp. I unconsciously reach up to scratch my head, but nothing gets by Gladys. Oh, that's the first sign…." she begins.

You've met Gladys, haven't you? It might be a different name. Gladys goes under a number of aliases and dons many disguises. But it's the same complaining, self-centered woman.

Too often, however, I meet Gladys in me. I want people to sympathize with me, so when something is going wrong (and when doesn't it?) I begin to complain. The 49ers are having a bad season. The morals of our nation are terrible. The election was depressing. My spouse is in a bad mood. It doesn't have to dwell on the interior plumbing of a sick Gladys. Normal complaining comes all too easily to my lips.

So when I read Colossians 2:6-7 it hits home. The phrase, "overflowing with thankfulness," begins to repeat itself over and over in my mind.

"Overflowing" -- "abounding," some translations say -- brings the mental picture of the Thanksgiving cornucopia spilling out an abundant harvest blessing. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." What is in my heart? Complaining? Selfishness? Pride? -- or Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the mark of a Christian, because thanksgiving points out and up while my complaining points only back to me and feeds my pride and dissatisfaction. Thanksgiving towards God and man fits the Great Commandment like a glove, to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. What better vehicle than thankfulness to express love?

The Pillsbury Doughboy® has that endearing quality that when you poke him he doesn't flare up but automatically responds with a friendly, perky, "Oh!" I want to be like him. Not so plump, mind you, but that full of friendliness. When someone pokes me I want my first instinct to be thankfulness rather than anger. I want people to find thankfulness oozing out of me. I want thanksgiving to mark my conversation and manner. I want to abound with it, be full of it. I want to overflow with thankfulness.

How about you?


Becky said...

Sooo true! You've just gotta love those "in stereo" moments with the Lord, don't you?

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Yep, repeat verses are not a coincidence but a God-incidence for us to take notice...Him wanting us to hear Him, really hear Him.

Life with Kaishon said...

I love your blog name. So perfect. I saw it at another site and I had to click and find out about you.

Thanks for sharing this post today. What a good reminder!

Tonya said...

I came by to say thanks for the b'day wishes! =-) Now, I'm THANKFUL for the reminder to be THANKFUL in EVERYTHING!

Have a WONDERFUL almost weekend.

Woman on a Mission said...

THANK you for this wonderful post. My sermon this weekend is on being of a thankful heart and your post just reiterated to me why its so important to spread the message of thanksgiving. Not just in this season, but throughout the year. Bless you!

Edie said...

Thank you for giving me this to think about. I was thinking as I read that I need to put good things into the hearts of my grandaughters so that good things spill out.

Love the doughboy comment... "not so round." HaHa!

alihsee said...

A great reminder!

You can certainly print out my WFW! :) Thanks for asking!

Blessings to you & yours!

Special K said...

Oh me! This is for me today...thank you for listening to the Spirit and posting this...

I posted a WFW as well...

The scripture I used is PS 139 --the last one is search me and show me any wicked way in me (paraphrased for time's sake) but you get the 'picture' (pun intended) And boy do I EVER 'get' it!

Thanks again!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

WOW...what powerful truths you have spoken!!!

And yes, we've all met Gladys, and like you..often I'm gladys too!!

Praying sweet blessing for you friend.

Tricia said...

What a good post, and what encouraging and convicting words... I am afraid that lately I have been stressed with various things and have let my thoughts and words at times be influenced by the stress rather than intentionally being thankful for all the many things I have to be thankful for. Thanks so much for the reminder!


Cheryl said...

Hey There,

I do not like it when "I'm Gladys." There is so much more to be thankful for, than to complain about.

Thanks for reminding me!

Have a great weekend!


Amydeanne said...

what a interesting post.. as I like to say verbally vomit lol.. and yes, i need to watch myself with this in some ways too!


Laurie Ann said...

Very powerful post! I know a Gladys and I've probably been one, too. Yikes! Great reminder to be in prayer with thanksgiving and watch my words...

Julie said...

Tracy, I loved this. I'm glad you decided to post...

I keept thinking of that song by 100 Portraits, I think it's titled "Come Fall on us". It says, "A thankful heart prepares the way for you my God."

It's true....

Hugs to you today!

Kathy S. said...

Does Gladys have PMS? Why does it seem so easy to see the "dark side" in the hormonal trial? It must be that "testing that produces perseverance" that James talks about!

Then it is a sacrifice of praise...when it is hard.

Thanks for the reminder to my inner Gladys! "Gladys, LOOK UP!"

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, I'm just sitting here in tears because "hope" has just arrived in a tiny package. You will never know how much your thoughtfulness means to me, especially this day. Worth more than riches or fame. To know that somebody I've never met face to face thought of me and then went to the trouble of sending those thoughts in the mail...just too precious for words.

I am thankful for you, my friend. And this morning as I ran my 3 1/2 miles, some F-15 E's (the strike eagles) flew over head, sounding their loud and their proud. Today, I am especially humbled and filled with gratitude for the price that's been paid for my freedom...both in the spiritual and in the literal. I love living them both.

God bless you, fellow pilgrim. We're walking it home together and that thrills my soul to the deepest degree.


Cindy said...

I am going to really focus on thankfulness this week ~ no matter what!

AND...yes, the 49ers are having a bad year:(


Laurie Ann said...

How are you, Tracy? I hope all is well!