Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. (Psalm 100:4)
The other day I was thinking about Gabon (no duh) and I realized something. It’s sort of an interesting thought going through my head, because in one sense it doesn’t seem legit, and in another sense it is very apparent to me that I have not done something that I need to do. And that is to say “thank you” to God for the incredible gifts He gave me with Gabon.
From the beginning of this experience I was thanking God for everything, so grateful for this opportunity, which had been a dream for so long and was now becoming real. Even as I was there in Gabon I thanked God (especially as I fell in love with it all) for the people I knew, the experiences I had, even the hardships I faced that were opportunities to trust Him.
But since I have been back, I realize now that my (strong) pining to return to Gabon has been consuming my thoughts, often blocking out other emotions or thought processes that I should be having. And, to put it simply, I haven’t been approaching any thoughts about Gabon with a thankful attitude. Instead, I want more, I want to go back, I dream about that, instead of really focusing on being grateful for the time He did give me.
And while I have been working on making this right in my heart, I wanted to publicly thank Him for this. Not sure what else to say than…
And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
So to my family in Gabon (the missionaries, my house-mates, interns, teams, Gabonese friends):
Dear brothers and sisters [in Gabon], [I] can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers… (Philemon 1:4)