THURSDAY, MAY 7
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
THE POWER OF GRATITUDE: GOD IS WITH ME
Training wheels serve a purpose, but there comes a time when training wheels are no longer necessary. Let’s look at the little boy who was being trained to ride his bike by his father. On the first day out, his father said to him. “Son, there are three things you should always remember if you are going to learn to ride a bike.” The excited son committed all three to memory: “Keep your eye on the road, don’t lean to the left or the right, and remember Daddy’s right there.” As the boy mounted the bike his father had him repeat the three rules and then ran along beside him shouting encouragement and reminding the boy to keep repeating the three rules. After each ride the boy was excited and thrilled. After the third ride, his father ran alongside him but didn’t say anything as the boy kept reciting the three rules. One day the boy mounted the bike as usual and took off chanting to himself “Keep your eye on the road, don’t lean to the left or the right and remember Daddy’s right there!” Two blocks up the road he looked back and was surprised to find out that his daddy had not made the run with him but was waving from the front yard. When the boy returned the father said “Son let this be a lesson to you in life. You will succeed if you can keep your eye on the road, never stray to left or right and remember, even when you can’t see Him, not me, your Heavenly Father’s right there!” (Robert Drake, “Training Wheels”)
When the Apostle Paul challenged the church in Philippi to be grateful, he also reminded them that the gratitude was “in Christ Jesus.” He reminded them that Jesus was with them everywhere they went and in everything they experienced.
You may not always feel God’s presence, but God’s presence is more than a feeling. God’s presence is a promise. Before Jesus ascended to heaven He said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7 ESV). Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit coming to help us. The word He used for “Helper” comes from the same word we get our word paramedic. The prefix “para” means alongside, beside or near. Much like a paramedic comes alongside you to help medically. The Holy Spirit comes alongside to help you spiritually. Can you think of a way to keep reminding yourself of God’s nearness today?