A Thankful Heart

September 6, 2020
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Psalm 138:1-3 – I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. (ESV)

We went away with the caravan to the city of St. David's in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Where we stay is very near a long, shallow beach called Whitesands Bay. It is a place of peace.

When I want to walk with God, I remember those times I have walked along the sandy beach when the tide is out. In these memories, I call to Jesus to stand with me or walk over the wet sand as I lay my thoughts down before Him. I can hear the sound of the waves soaking my ears in the evening sun.

For a number of weeks, I have had a bad back, joints, and muscles, strained after illness. It has been a severe blow to my pride in self-reliance.

My body is capable of less, but God sees me just the same as the young man full of life — and clueless. He sees the heart that cries out to Him in desperation, exasperation, thanks, and praise. He prompts me not to forget all His benefits and blessings, and in reply, I ask for even more. Children always seem to move on and want more.

Yes, it is a slow process, getting better, trying to get fitter.

I have reflected on this impatience that I have, to want instant healing, more of everything now, instead of the acceptance of less, which is the final outcome.

So, in my memory, I heard, "When you take a car to the garage, do you ask how they mended it, or are you thankful that they can do it? What happens when they say, tutting, with a deep intake of breath, that it is no longer possible or, maybe, that the cost is not worth it?"

Not everyone is healed, and we all have to face loss, pain, and the reality of dying, whether it is for others or for ourselves. That is the world that we live in. We want more, but life experience tells us that it cannot go on forever, because this is how we are created: designed to wear out. The next generation has to take up the kingdom and run with God. We can leave here in peace, having passed on the call to worship.

Let us take our limitations to the One who walks with us and accepts the challenge to cleanse our souls and restore. Let's thank Him in the knowledge that He has paid the price to keep us going. One day, those of us in Jesus will trade in this rusty wreck, only to be given a new body, all clean and tidy for our souls to ride in.

Prayer: Please forgive us when we do not honour You as we know that we should. Lord, thank You for all the gifts that You have given us and the joy of knowing that You're with us. Thank You for all the good memories that we keep and treasure. Stand with us and deliver us from the bad ones. May we hear and see You with us as we walk with You today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for that encouraging message.


    I appreciate your meaningful and relatable writing.


    Rod, I feel your pain, but also share your hope. Be safe.


    Thanks, Rod. Two in one day! You’re on Illustrator today as well.


    Thank you for sharing your understanding and experience with us today, Roderick.


    Wonderful devotion today. I enjoy all your devotions and look forward to the next one.


    Rod: Praying you will soon be feeling much stronger and able to do more of what you enjoy.
    Blessings.


    Dear Rod,
    Thank you for your devotion which we appreciate very much. We shall look forward to further inspirational writings. May the Lord continue to increase your strength.


    Hello Roderick
    Thank you for a beautiful and touching devotional. I could see you walking on that beach, beautiful and so true about life and we are not alone.
    God bless.


    Dear Rod,
    Thank you for reminding us to be grateful for what God has provided us with and to be thankful that he died for us to be forgiven. May we always remember he is beside us no matter how days are going and that he understands. May you feel better soon.


    Hello Rod,
    Good message. It is comforting and reassuring having Jesus walk with us each and every day.
    Thanks for your writing.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    A good one today Rod. Very to the point. I wrote something similar, in my notebook, on this subject a couple of weeks ago. And noted the same thing… that much like my young granddaughter, l too just “always want, want, want” more in regard to healing and staying strong amidst aging. We do want our strength and energy and zest to just keep going on, but as you have said, it can’t. We wear out, whether we like it or not!
    Be blessed and l hope you are better soon… There l go wanting more yet again!


    Hello Rod
    Wonderful message.
    I can relate totally.
    I am recovering (slowly) from surgery. It hinders everything that I want to do.
    In addition, the death of my son, albeit several months ago, shattered my faith for a while. As you say in your devotional, life brings many challenges. Each one tests our endurance, attitude, and (for me) faith.
    I have had to learn acceptance, patience, and humility. They’ve been tough. I have always been fiercely independent. I have had to learn to ask for help, or merely do less each day, leaning on others while regaining my reliance on God’s grace and mercy.
    Take care of yourself and be patient. Your body always knows what is best for its best health.
    Blessings
    (On. Canada)


    HI Rod,
    Sorry to hear about your physical problems. Sounds quite dreadful as a matter of fact. I can join in your lament because of a back issue that countless health workers from doctors to physical therapists have been unable to “cure.” HOWEVER, my life has truly been blessed and I thank God for all the blessings received.
    Last summer my husband was in I the hospital for a few weeks. The initial diagnosis (wrong) was a fatal condition. When we lay in bed the night after receiving that diagnosis I commented on how God has blessed us with such a good life. His reply… and it still makes me smile, “I know, and that is why it is hard to think about giving it up.” Two days later we were back in the hospital with the correct diagnosis and today he does not even have to have any treatment which is another miracle for which we thank God.
    Are your girls in school or doing online studies. Online studies have been very hard on our granddaughter. We are all praying this pandemic will soon be under control.
    Praying good things for you and those you love, Rod.


    Thank you, Rod, for your devotional today.
    It was a great confirmation to remember to be thankful regardless of the infirmities of our mortal bodies, which as you say are designed to wear out.
    I too, am suffering from the same physical ailments and I pray there may still be a God willingly healing for both of us.
    That said, l still, like you, forge ahead daily even if it means going through the centre of the pain that is very challenging at times and frustrating as l have always strived to “max it out”, as it were.
    I thank God for all the opportunities He granted my former self to serve Him in, recognizing there is a time and a season for everything.
    I’ve decided that rather than become embittered over a pining for the past, that there are a certain allotment of days for one’s life span.
    I’ve “been there, done that” and am so grateful to have done so, realizing the only thing permanent in this life matrix is indeed change and the temporal as we journey ahead to our eternal, non-changing perfect existence with Christ.
    Your walks on the beach also remind me of walks l took years ago on the shore of Lake Huron, praying and often silently just being with God as His gentle breeze styled my unruly curly hair just right!
    I plan to keep trucking, keep on keeping on embracing the “new “of the season with an open mind, for we never forget that with God, ALL things are possible, and we are never alone! (Hebrews 13:5b)
    God Bless from across the pond.


    Rod
    Being full of aches and pains I appreciate your encouraging words.


    Amen, Rod, and many thanks for sharing this thought-provoking devotional with us. Blessings.


    Hi Rod.: I need to tell you how much I enjoy reading your studies and reflecting on them with you. I can relate so much with the frustrations of the healing we receive not restoring us to our former vim, vigor, and vitality. Today as I am waiting with my beloved almost 22-year-old cat, watching as she struggles to breathe and to move, I know the inevitableness of life’s end. Thank you for sharing with us these thoughts and giving me the strength to let my precious pet go on her next journey. Bless you for your works that you share with the rest of us. May blessings abound!

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