[Note: I sent this message out on Thanksgiving, 2013. WOW! Has it really been six years? Please remember this as you read this message – the message does not reference our current situation. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday because I’m usually surrounded by my family and reminded that I have so much to be thankful for!]
Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. I know this isn’t a global holiday, but perhaps you will forgive me if I use this day to write a special Thanksgiving message.
This has been a difficult year for our family. In fact, the first five months were the most difficult of my life. Many of you walked through this struggle with us and prayed as we endured the diagnosis and treatment of our youngest daughter’s cancer. You were a wonderful Family during this time and we are deeply in your debt. For those new to this ministry, you can read more about this season in a series of messages at:
In several of these messages I shared my personal struggle with how we, as believers in the All-Powerful, Loving, and Saving God of the Universe, are to relate to our trials. At the heart of this struggle was the well known passage in James.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I never once became mad at God, because I rejected the teaching which said God was responsible for sending these trials. God was not the author of this pain, so how could I find fault in Him? And yet, I promise, there was no joy in this trial!
But now as I see our entire family on the other side of this particular trial, I can finally say there is great joy and thanksgiving. Our faith was indeed tested, but I am now able see a wonderful increase in perseverance and maturity. And, not surprisingly, the greatest increase has come in our youngest daughter who faced the greatest portion of the trial.
This week we had to travel back to the hospital for Kaylee’s six month test to see if she has remained cancer free. The night before we were to travel, I asked her if she was fearful or anxious about the test. She said she had been listening to music, and a line in a particular song helped her to put things in perspective. The line of music said, “The God of second chance, He picked her up and He let her dance.” She told me that no matter what happens, no matter the level of pain, God is still going to be there to dance.
Did I mention our daughter is only thirteen years old? Yes, trials bring an increased level of maturity! The test results are back and Kaylee remains cancer free!! The dance continues.
A dance is a good metaphor for our Christian life. The dance begins as we join God, through faith in His Son, and continues as we are transformed, being empowered by His Spirit. He dances with us through our trials as we learn of His love and how to share the dance with others. Perhaps one of the main purposes of the dance is to teach us how to truly be thankful.
God has indeed invited us to join Him in a dance. No matter what trials we are currently needing to endure, even trials which are completely overwhelming, God is there to dance with us as we navigate through all the twists and turns. Time and time again He is there to pick us up; and whenever this current song ends, He will take us by the hand and lead us into the eternal dance of thanksgiving.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Nov 28 Daniel 5:1-31; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Psalm 119:113-131; Proverbs 28:19-20
Nov 29 Daniel 6:1-28; 2 Peter 3:1-18; Psalm 119:132-155; Proverbs 28:21-22
Nov 30 Daniel 7:1-28; 1 John 1:1-10; Psalm 119:156-176; Proverbs 28:23-24
Dec 1 Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 28:25-26