Confession time – I like to watch old movies, again and again. A fellow blogger has admitted preferring action adventure and not being particularly partial to romance. But me? I love romantic comedies and I enjoy watching them over and over. I once had a male co-worker comment, “Why would I want to watch sometime again? I saw it the first time.” It never ceases to amaze me that in viewing a movie for the umpteenth time, I catch something I didn’t really notice before. Case-in-point: “Pretty Woman”. Yes, I can hear the groans now, but bear with me. There is a line that Vivian (Julia Roberts’ character) speaks to Edward as portrayed by Richard Gere. They pass through the hotel lobby on their way to the opera and she turns to him and says, “In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight.” She speaks it well in advance of driving to the airport, boarding a private plane and flying to another city to listen to an evening of La Taviata.
That phrase always makes me smile. I’ve actually spoken it myself, usually to a sister when I am anticipating an event, because I just know I’m going to enjoy whatever it is that we’re going to be doing. However, it makes me pause and ask, “How many times do I thank God in advance – before something occurs? That something being, a difficult situation, a new experience, a challenge, even a familiar scenario?
If I am honest my response is based on emotion. The encounter is good and I say, “Thank you Lord. That went pretty well.” But, if it’s negative, well my plea may sound more like whining. “Help me God. I don’t know what to do.” And He reminds me of His Son’s example.
Christ’s life was led by prayer and thanksgiving – before any speaking, before any healing, before any miracle. I think perhaps I may miss the miracle because I fail to thank God before. Take Matthew 14:19 (NIV) – the feeding of the 5,000. ) “Then Jesus told the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish. He looked into the sky and thanked God for the food. Then he broke the bread into pieces, which he gave to the followers, and they gave the food to the people.” And again in John 11:41-42 – at the death of Lazarus: “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Look again, Jesus prays thanksgiving, before! I repeat the question. “How many times have I missed the miracle because I fail to acknowledge my Lord’s provision in advance?” Life is not about the good, the bad, the positive, the negative. It is about me understanding and truly appreciating that my Savior goes before me, guides me through and holds me securely regardless of the circumstance. I need to accept His provision whatever the outcome, because His love says, “I know what’s best for you. Trust me.” And when I do that in advance I am blessed beyond measure!
Thank you Lord that you never give up on me. Help me extend that encouragement to everyone I meet. Amen.
Blessings, as you thank Him in anticipation of what is yet to come. Doneta