by Jan Cox
In many of the past posts we have talked about prayer in all circumstances. This week I learned the practical reasons for this.
Last week my husband’s van collided with another van at an intersection. He had a green light and had started into the intersection as another van ran through the red light on the cross street. Our van spun around and the airbags deployed. Wayne broke his sternum and two ribs. He spent two days in hospital and is now recovering at home here in Arizona. We believe it will take 4-8 weeks to recover.
From the time I learned of the accident (the police called me) to this point I have been thanking God for being in every circumstance. I remembered that thanks is a verb. My prayers became thankful prayers.
There have been times with all the extra details of driving in unfamiliar traffic, listening to doctors, giving medicines and dealing with insurance companies that I would have a tendency to get uptight. But I keep focusing on Jesus – calling to Him to help me – and He is there, holding me steady and giving me peace.
I am so grateful that Ann Voskamp heard His voice and wrote One Thousand Gifts. I am so grateful I have read the book four times and have led a Bible study based on it.
To read it – to teach it – and then to live it – Eucharisteo – that word stuck in my mind.
From Ann’s words on qideas:
It [Eucharisteo] means thanksgiving in Greek. My life’s struggling to pronounce it, that word that’s set like the unexpected crown jewel in the center of Christianity, right there at the Last Supper before the apex of the Cross. When Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks for it, that’s the word for his giving thanks: eucharisteo. It’s like a language lesson: in that word for thanksgiving, eucharisteo, are the roots of charis, grace, and chara, joy. If you can take all as grace, give thanks for it, therein is always joy. Eucharisteo – grace, gratitude, joy – one word that God in flesh acted out when he took the cup.
Now as we head into Advent season (this Sunday is HOPE) I would encourage everyone to starting writing down the gifts that you see, hear, feel and touch this Christmas season. Let us give thanks to God in every situation and find His joy.
Here are other links for thankful ideas for Christmas and Advent.
With Thankful Hearts
Haliburton Pastoral Charge Thanksgiving Letter
Haliburton Pastoral Charge Advent Letter
Ann Voskamp’s Jesse Tree Family Devotional
My Gratitude List for this week – I have skipped over many to be able to write this week’s list. I am counting and up to 689. This is a long list but it has been a long week.
- Hard Eucharisteo – Wayne is t-boned in an accident, broken sternum and bones
- Friends who pray
- Family and friends who care
- A friend who loaned me his car to take Wayne to the hospital
- Car insurance and medical insurance
- Your calming presence in my life
- The gift of prayer
- Knowing You are in charge
- My daughter’s presence here in Arizona during this time
- Kind, caring doctors at the first hospital
- A nurse who brought me an orange and another who brought me a hearty salad
- A warm blanket for me
- A TV to pass the time while we waited for test results (5 hours)
- Good doctors watching Wayne for any complications
- Safety on the roads to the airport and hospital
- Arriving safely back to our home in AZ with Wayne
- All the prayers from friends and family
- Energy to continue when I just want to lie down
- My daughter safely back home in Canada
- Wayne comfortable on medications
- Wayne’s laughter even when it hurts
- Walks around the lake
- Snowball’s new tricks
- A good book to just pick up and read
- Morning time to think and pray and rest in Him
- So many email friends praying
- A nap that restores my energy
- Another friends’ car to use – a “red box”
- Pain meds for Wayne
- A rental car
- Regular routines
- Learning the steps to a dance in tap
- Finishing an easy Sudoku
- Remembering that it is not about me – instead to serve
- My shoulder feels almost normal
- Jesus – to call upon
- Scripture to keep me strong and at peace
- A replacement vehicle for the one totaled (more mileage but insurance money paid for it)
- Trust and belief in God
- Writing all this down
- Growing in the knowledge of God
Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it some day.