The Season of Thanksgiving - Carol Krum
As we are approaching Thanksgiving, I am reminded of an experience I once had and would love to share it with you. Perhaps it will be a word of encouragement to you or to someone you know.
During a very difficult season of my life when a “tsunami” of events had occurred, one after another, leaving a wake of confusion, pain, fear, anxiety and even depression (yes, Spirit-filled believers experience these human emotions!!), I cried out to the Lord for help. On one hand, I wanted to jump off a cliff, and on the other, I felt like I was slipping off and didn’t know if I would land dead or alive! In my waking hours, the din of chaos was so loud, I’m sure I couldn’t even hear the Lord speak, so He gently counseled me one night in a dream.
I was floating down a river in a small boat in what appeared to be a huge gorge, with cliffs reaching high into the sky. As I came around a bend in the river, I saw to my dismay that these two cliffs had suddenly joined together, preventing me from going any further. So I turned my little boat around and began to paddle back around the bend. To my horror, the cliffs had joined together on the other end! I realized that there was absolutely no way out of the depths in which I found myself.
I asked the Lord, “What should I do? I can’t get out of here!” In my spirit I heard, “I want you to praise Me and give Me thanks right where you are.” Having no other option, I began to do as instructed! As I did, it became obvious that the water level was rising. A sense of peace rose up within me as I marveled at what was happening, knowing that my prayer had been answered. However, before long, the water level began to decrease. He said, “You must continue praising Me and thanking Me!”
This cycle continued several times until I finally realized that it was imperative that I continue in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving. It was only then that the water level continued to rise! Eventually I rose up to the top of the cliffs and I was able to get out of my boat.
Those cliffs represented everything I had been experiencing. The water, of course, was the Holy Spirit, and the boat was the Lord’s vehicle of safety during this particular storm of life. But ultimately it was my own voice and my heart attitude that needed to remain in a constant state of praise and thanksgiving that would lift me up above the circumstances which I had allowed to overshadow my mind and heart, causing me to lose sight of the truth of who He is in me and who I am in Him.
This experience has become a life-line of protection and safety for me in all areas of my life, carving a place in my heart from which springs of thanksgiving and praise flow freely. Please know that it took discipline and practice in the midst of suffering, over and over and over again, until it eventually became my first response to anything, be it good, bad or ugly! It is at the heart of every prayer.
I pray that these words might fill a place within your heart that quickens hope, renews faith and overwhelms you with a desire to give Him thanks and praise in all things, keeping in mind that it has nothing to do with emotions. It has only to do with the discipline of the will in obedience to His command. Eventually the emotions will catch up and they will be less likely to run amuck as we continue to “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!” Hebrews 12:2
I Thes: 5:18 says, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” As we celebrate this season of Thanksgiving, let us be mindful that the true Spirit of Thanksgiving is a never ending position of our heart and mind before God. Nothing pleases Him more than when we express our complete trust and faith in Him through thanksgiving and praise right in the middle of our storm!
Happy “Thanksgiving and Praise”!
Carol Krum is the Partner Coordinator at the Spokane Headquarters and our resident encourager in joy.