We fervently prayed and prayed that she would be healed, but day after day and night after night she was beseiged with frequent, horrific coughing episodes. I vividly remember asking God, "Where are you? Do something!" I vividly remember His response to me... "I'm right here. And I Am doing something. You just can't see it." As I thought about that, I acknowledged that while I wanted her to be all better right then, she was progressively getting better, week by week. And she didn't die from the disease, which could have happened. I could even picture in my mind's eye, Jesus holding Samantha and gently pushing on her chest as she was gasping for breath.
My attitude changed from disheartened to thankful. My prayers changed from pleas to praise as I recognized I had much to thank Him for.
I was reading a devotional guide this morning which Samantha had reommended to me. The book is Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler, and today's message was centered in Luke 24:30-32. It's the account of two men who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus, after He had risen from the dead. They were telling Him the disheartening tale... of His death... and didn't realize that He was right there with them. They felt abandoned and bewildered, until they recognized the "Bread of Life" in the breaking of the bread. They had an attitude change, too.
Ann Spangler says,
"We long for tangible evidence of God's love, but we fail to see it, in part because we have not learned to be thankful. It's not just that God likes to be thanked. It's that we need to thank him... Thankfulness opens our eyes to God's faithfulness, which in turn nourishes our faith. No wonder the word "Eucharist," a common name for the Christian commemoration of the Last Supper, comes from a Greek word meaning "thanksgiving". Skipping gratitude is like skipping the meal God has prepared for us. Without it, we merely move on to the next need, felling hungry and empty without the faith to believe that God will sustain us."When I'm full of gratitude, I see things so differently. It's a pleasant state of mind.
I used to have a little decorative plaque that sat on my desk. It said, "If we pause to think, we'll have cause to thank." Wonder where I put that?