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  • Writer's pictureMM

Thank You Jesus!

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

Remember as a kid, watching a movie and picking out one character that you wanted to pretend to be? Maybe you were like me and every time you watched a Disney Princess movie with your friends you had to be sure you called dibs first so nobody stole the character you wanted to pretend to be. I remember running to my closet trying to find clothes that were the closest thing to whatever character I had chosen. I would dance and twirl around when they broke out in song, imagining myself being swept off my feet just like a princess or fighting off bad guys on an adventure.


I love how creative and beautiful God created our imaginations. To dream up dreams and look forward to the hopes of the future is such a remarkable thing. But as I’ve grown older and reflected a little deeper on memories and ways my young mind once thought, I’ve realized how this imagination of mine slowly gave way to things like comparison or placing expectations on what life should look like. When I mentioned as a child I would pretend to play a character in a movie, I think that idea followed me into my teenage and young adult life. It just looks pretty different. Instead of playing dress up and fighting off bad guys, I’m wishing for the next chapter, getting distracted by my ‘dreamt up life’, missing the joys of the present moment, and looking at the highlights of someone else’s life and questioning if I’m on the right track or not.


Over the years, walking through the valleys and hardships of life, I’ve observed how quickly and easily my eyes began to fix on what was “wrong” about my life when there was any

inconvenience, hard decision, or frustrating situation placed before me. For the longest time, I

hated that my immediate thoughts shifted to comparison. Someone once told me “a grateful

heart can see and experience the fullness of the simplicity or the chaos that is right in front of

them”, and when I heard that, it was like a light bulb turned on in my heart. Things started to

change.


I began to pray and ask God that He would make love my reaction and gratitude a

reflex in the way I lived and thought. I didn’t immediately feel more grateful for everything

around me, I wish I could say I did. But instead, I saw more of who God was and began to

desire Him more. In this desire, my heart can’t help but overflow with thankfulness. It wasn’t an overnight change by any means. Honestly, most days I still pray that God would continuously help me show gratitude and thankfulness. But as I’ve asked God to give me eyes to see His goodness and blessing in MY life, I’ve seen and danced in His abundant joy. And as I’ve danced in His joy, I see the goodness in OTHERS' lives all around me.


I’m reminded of Psalm 23 when I think about the abundance of God’s provision. Specifically verses 1-4: “The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.”

When we focus on who God is rather than things we have a clear sight of the blessings before us. Our expectations are met with grace and abundance so that we can faithfully depend on the Father’s understanding of our lives. When we focus on what is “missing” from our lives, we put God’s power in a box and blinders on our eyes that make it impossible to be thankful for the joy and gifts all around us.


Joyful blessings come in all kinds of ways. God is quite creative when it comes to giving and showing just how beautiful He is making the life around you. So whether you’re walking through a deep depression, overwhelming fear, uncertainty, indescribable loss, or whatever it may be, know that God sees you and is so very near to your aching heart. But He doesn’t want you to miss the joys He has all around you. If you’re having a hard time seeing His goodness start by praising Him. I know that sounds so Christian-y but I’m so serious! Start thanking Him for the things He has done, is doing, and will do. Every time in my life when I’ve faced hardship and pain and chose to say “thank you Jesus” instead of resenting what was in front of me, I experienced deeper love, deeper joy, and deeper gratitude.


Gratitude changes everything.


So my friend, let’s do this together! One day at a time, whenever our emotions and thoughts tell us to wallow in our circumstances, let’s choose to hit our knees and praise! Let’s choose gratitude despite what our feelings tell us. Let’s champion one another by reminding loved ones and new friends of the joy we have been freely given by such a gracious and beautiful Creator. And when we rise in the morning let’s say ‘Thank You Jesus!’ and dance in the green pastures all around us!


Devotional Idea: Along with this Scripture and Prayer that lead you to "Thank You Jesus!" consider writing a list of things that you are thankful for. Thank God for these things throughout the day and continue to add to it as you go about your day.


"I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High."

Psalm 9:1-2


"Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other

with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful

hearts."

Colossians 3:16


"Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done."

1 Chronicles 16:8


"Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!"

Psalm 34:8


"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Father,

Thank You for Your loving kindness. Thank You for all that You have done in my life. Thank You for the pain and hurt that has allowed me to know You as a Healer, Friend, and Redeemer. Thank You for giving boundless love with every breath I breathe. Thank You for understanding my raw emotions when I resist coming to You in my struggle and pain. Thank You for seeking after me even when I choose to run. Thank You for every piece of creation You have placed before me. Show me more of Your heart after me, God. Give me understanding and eyes to see and know what you’re doing is Good. God, I trust You over and over again. I chose to wait in joyful anticipation of seeing your love on display. I will praise your name for all of my days. I love you.

Amen


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Xx, MM & Laurel

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