On The Journey, Judy Bowman

Being thankful

It was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right. I got up late and the more I hurried, the less I seemed to get done. Traffic was awful with every stoplight turning red just as I approached it. Trains even timed their journeys to cross my path, too. I dropped things, forgot stuff and wasted time looking for keys and paperwork and schedules. By lunchtime, I was exhausted. I thought I could see the end of the rope that people always talk about. Just then I looked down to see that the “check engine” light on my dashboard was glowing brightly. I broke down and cried. I thought, “Lord, what have I done?” Surely I must had done something bad to be having so many trials in just one day. It seemed as if I was being punished and I wanted to know my offense. My answer came pretty quickly. I had planned my day carefully and had made a lot of assumptions about how it needed to unfold. I had my timetable ready to go. The more I sat there in my funk, the more I realized that my plans hadn’t included God.

I hadn’t started my day with gratitude. In a hurry, I’d skipped those precious waking moments spent lifting my heart to the Lord and giving Him thanks for the precious gift of another day. I was too busy thinking of all I needed to get done and adding items to my to-do list. I didn’t take the time to remember the Author of my life. After all, God has given me all that I have, including the work I was absorbed with just then. Without Him, what is there? Yet on that misbegotten day of problems and tangles and frustrations, I’d been trying to do it all myself. I hadn’t included God in my plans. Also, I was living in the future and not in the now. Gratitude is being thankful for the moment, not living in the “what’s next.”

And that’s why the day was such a mess. I hadn’t turned to Him, given thanks and offered all my works and sufferings of the day for His good use. I hadn’t asked Jesus what His plans were for my day. The Savior I daily claim to follow might just as well have been a forgotten bit of pocket lint. That may sound harsh, but any Christian whose life isn’t founded on, centered in, and consumed by Jesus Christ is just plain lost. St. Paul tells us that “He is before all things and in Him all things hold together”(Colossians 1:17). Things were definitely NOT holding together for me that day because of my own pridefulness. It’s a lesson I have to learn fairly frequently.

Some people teach a kind of Christianity that says God will give you earthly riches if you are following Him “in the right way.” I don’t remember reading that anywhere in the Bible. I believe that suffering is a part of living in this world and that being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re magically protected from hard times. Remember that 11 of the 12 Apostles were martyred for their faith. Most of the saints suffered all sorts of difficulties in their lives and they claimed their suffering as joy because it united them to His Cross. Their lives make my silly little frustrations disappear.

So at the end of my tiresome, trying day, I heard Him call to me. “Let me into your day, Judy. Share your plans and fears and frustrations with me. Let me carry the burdens in your heart and when you’re tired, I’ll carry you, too. Don’t try to do it all yourself. I love you. Let’s walk this road together.” He quietens my restless heart and gives me peace in the midst of my troubles. He restores my soul. Problems and heartaches don’t disappear if you follow Jesus—but they take on eternal meaning and joy. I pray that He’ll keep reminding me of that and that His grace will conform my will to His own, in thanksgiving and gratitude.

“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” — G. K. Chesterton

Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

Pleasant Valley Baptist sends a special invitation for you to worship with us each and every week. It would be our honor to have you join with us.

Pleasant Valley Baptist has resumed normal in-person service meeting times, Sunday at 11 am and 6 pm with Wednesday Bible study at 7 pm. All services will be available on Facebook as well. Continue to act wisely and be safe.

We are looking forward this week to observing Thanksgiving with our friends and family. So let us never forget to …

“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Ps 106:1.

Have a blessed and wonderful holiday!

God and the Bible are the answer to the problems we now face. It must start with the church consisting of all who have put their faith in Christ. We must understand we are nothing and can do nothing to have the hope of eternal life. Apart from faith in the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Christ in our stead we have no hope. All are sinners, all need Christ as Savior. Whosoever will repent of their sin and receive Christ will be saved. Pray, confess your sin, by faith, believe and accept Jesus and His finished work of grace on the cross as payment for your sin. We need only to believe and receive in faith.

Pastor Flood and his wife Jill were in Florida this past weekend visiting with their new baby granddaughter. While they were missed, Brother Cody Cranmore brought a wonderful message concerning hitting rock bottom at times in our lives. We have all experienced times like this. Be sure to watch Sunday’s message.

Pray for our country. These are times never experienced before. Living in the last days before return of Christ in the air for all who have placed their trust in Him, the true church. Pray for God’s mercy, wisdom, and help. Pray for our President and other leaders. God raises men up and puts men down. America is experiencing the results of choosing to turn away from God. Our hope is God and as a nation we must repent. Let revival begin within each of our hearts. Pray for revival and souls to be saved.

Continue to pray for members Mike Cross, Denise Pitts, Betty Pitts, Larry Armstrong, Pastor and his family, myself, Glenda Smiley and all who need our prayers. Pray for our shut-ins Dot McAllister and Lula Petty, health needs. Pray for those who have recently lost loved ones. Pray for our churches, missionaries, and evangelist. Praise the Lord always.

Join us Sunday mornings at 11 am and evenings 6 pm for in-person services. Sunday services are available on Facebook and YouTube with Wednesday Bible study on Facebook at 7 pm.

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