Last month on the 23rd my day took a surprising twist and I ended up in the ER in Davao City, Philippines after a car backed over me.
It has been a long month. One I never want to relive. Ever.
Physically, I think I am healing well. (I have a doc appointment later today, so I guess I will know for sure after that.) My head is still a little tender. I am dealing with some annoyingly persistent back and shoulder pain. My left knee is still sore to touch. And my front two top teeth are cracked. (We are literally waiting and watching to see if they rot out of my head and what needs to be done.)
Honestly, it is easy to get frustrated. I want to be well. I want to feel better. I am not even wanting to feel great, good will do. Can't I at least have that?
My sweet momma gets on kicks. She teaches children at church and when I am home I usually help her. Twice recently she has taught about the sacrifice of thanksgiving. I wonder if she had me in mind? (It's okay if she did, I needed to hear it.)
It is very easy to focus on having a good attitude. To talk about a positive outlook. To tell people to be pleasant. Act nice. Do good.
But the sacrifice of thanksgiving is not the act of taking on a good attitude, a positive outlook, being pleasant, or even being nice. It is the act of laying down the self pity, the anger, the frustration.
My body is not as well as I would like it. The sacrifice of thanksgiving means that I lay down my natural (and sinful) reaction to pain and (live holy) pay my vows to the Most High. By no means, am I perfect in this. I struggle with it. I wrestle. I fight with it.
I am reminded of the story of Jacob. He did not want to let go of the fight until he had been blessed.
The sacrifice of thanksgiving takes fight. It takes courage. It requires faith.
I am willing to continue in my struggle, in my laying down, in this wrestling match until I am blessed. I have always thought of Jacob as a tad-bit selfish but there is something very holy about having enough faith to fight for a blessing with the understanding of how undeserving you are.
And there is something very important in the truth that he limped away a blessed man.
I am willing to accept my life as it comes. And to thank God for it be it feel like a blessing or a curse. I am willing to limp away from it. That is the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Laying my sinful nature down, to call upon the Lord in my day of trouble so that He might rescue me. Because I know that when He will be honored in His rescuing of me.
I know that whatever befalls me, I will live blessed. Because I know that the opportunity to honor Him, is a blessing.
I pray that His children choose to honor Him today.