Devotion from Pastor Chad – 11/19/21
This week I’m thinking about Philippians 4:4-6 as we prepare for our Joy Sunday and Thanksgiving just around the corner. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Several years ago, one of our members at Mantua Center, Pam Auble, wrote a book called “Think about Thanks.” I highly recommend it to you as it has stuck with me over the years. She packs a lot of great stories, images, and reflections in the pages that are easy to remember and will challenge you. One of the images was “fish belly time.” She pointed out how amazing it was that Jonah…after being caught in the storm, thrown off the boat, swallowed by the big fish, and stuck in the belly…he STILL paused to give thanks to God. There it is in chapter 2, verse 9, Jonah crying out with “the voice of thanksgiving.” It probably couldn’t have gotten any worse for him…yet there he was saying “Thank you!” All of us can easily find some reason to be frustrated, bitter, and resentful given the state of the world, yet the mark of people of faith is to rejoice. To trust God and to remain thankful. To remember that no matter the circumstances…the Lord is Near. That is indeed something to be thankful for.
This Sunday will be a great blessing to hear from some of the youth and children of our church about what brings them joy. You won’t want to miss it! Looking forward to worshipping with you on Sunday!