The other day I was visiting someone at the hospital, and because my schedule was so busy, I decided to valet park. When I was leaving, the parking attendant went to get my car. As he was bringing the vehicle around, I searched my pockets for a tip. I had two $10 bills in one pocket and two $1 bills in the opposite jacket pocket.
You already know exactly what happened. Somehow in the process of getting my car back, I thanked the valet attendant and quietly passed him his folded up tip, $20 tip to be exact. It was a few hours later, and I was searching through my pockets, wondering why I had $2 and couldn't find my 20. Suddenly, my generosity made me wince. I'm not gonna lie to you. My first instinct was one of loss, but how I love the Holy Spirit's perspective on life.
He instantly reminded me to get my thanks going to God. 11 Corinthians 2:14. "Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ and through Him we spread the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him. "
Some translations of that same verse say, "thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph."So I said, Father God thank You that You take care of me abundantly, and Your grace is so amazing that even my mistakes prosper.
All of a sudden I could see that attendant throwing out a random prayer to God, something like, "God, I haven't had a tip all day. If you care at all about me, then let some customer give me a $10 bill. No, wait a sec. If you really love me, then I want a $10 bill for me and one for my wife. Just then I step up to the counter and hand him my claim tag. Holy Spirit gave me eyes to see that instead of losing I was part of God's loving touch. Did you know that your thanksgiving reveals your spiritual focus? What you fix your attention on is what grows in your life.
If you focus on the problem it grows. If you fix your gaze on the answer, it grows. What you can't see you can't have. Now, you may think, big deal. that may work with $20, but I'm dealing with the really big stuff. Thankfulness is one of the most powerful expressions of faith. When Pam and I went through the dark valley of the miscarriage of our twin boys, we used thanks giving to indulge in God's victory. No, we weren't thankful for the loss but we were thankful in the crisis.
It turned our heartache into the most amazing treasure always before us. Of course, the enemy will say you've lost. A carnal view will always complain and embrace sadness, but thanks be to God which always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus. That's how you turn loss into treasure.
Let's pray God's wisdom together:
Thank you Father God. Even in the midst of this circumstance, I give You thanks for your will for us and it causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus. Difficult things happen in life but God You are greater. Greater are You in us than the enemy who is in the world. We thank you Father God that You lead us with Your precious Holy Spirit. I am not alone and I am led. You are the good shepherd who never leaves or forsakes your loved ones. I lay down all of my hurts and losses at the foot of the cross and ask that You give us Your perspective. Help us to see the treasures and the triumphs that are ours in Christ Jesus. Amen.
In difficult times, we especially need to pray for one another and encourage one another. You are important to us. Please help us help others. You can do that by sharing these life talks with a friend. You'll be amazed at how God uses you for his glory.
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