Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

Giving Thanks in the Chaos

Lord, You call us to be still, to be still and know that you are God (Psalm 46:10). I’ll be honest: in this crazy, chaotic life in which you live, it is so hard to carve out time before you to simply be still, to feel your presence and know you are God. In this season of life—a season filled with teenagers and job and education and family and so much more—it’s easy to miss you, to miss the moments of simply sitting at your feet and soaking in your presence.

As I’ve contemplated the approaching holiday season with all it entails, I want to take a moment to pause in your presence and remember all I have. I have more reasons for gratitude than I can count. I am blessed with so many good gifts, all given to me by you, the giver of all good gifts! How often I neglect to tell you how much I appreciate all you do, all you give. So now, I take just a few moments to reflect on the most precious gifts in my life.

Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may life in his presence. Hosea 6:1-2

I thank you for healing, for being our ultimate Healer. We’ve all experienced more pain in this life than we ever dreamed possible. Some of us feel as if we are in the storms now, tossed about by waves as they threaten to pull us under. And yet, we are all also in various stages of healing. Thank you for the promise that your healing is available, that it is coming, that in the midst of the pain of this life we can be assured you are working circumstances for our good and your glory. Thank you for the promise that the story is not over until you have brought beauty from the ashes, until you have brought beauty from these broken lives we live.

Help us to be still long enough to hear you whisper your promises over us, promises of healing and beauty yet to come.

Jesus wept. John 11:35

Thank you that our pain does not go unnoticed by you. Thank you that you weep with us as we look at our lives, wrapped in graveclothes, dead and dying, waiting for you to breathe new life. Thank you that you are near the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18). Thank you that you hold all our tears in a bottle, counting them and knowing the many sorrows that break our hearts (Psalm 56:8). Thank you that you were a man who walked through the human condition just like we do, that you understand the pain and rejection of this life.

Help us to be still long enough to feel your compassion as you catch our tears.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

Thank you for looking on us, on our children, on our loved ones with compassion rather than judgment, with grace rather than condemnation. So many of us are praying fervently for those we love, praying you might get their attention and draw them to yourself. We know you are patient and not willing that any should perish. We know you have eyes of compassion for those who so desperately need you and yet their vision is so clouded by the pain of this life. Thank you for promising you will never stop fighting for them…for us.

Help us to be still long enough for you to wash over us with your perfect peace as we focus our minds on you (Isaiah 26:3).

Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. Zechariah 9:12

Thank you for the promise that brighter days are coming, days when we will see blessings that outnumber our pain! Thank you for the hope of redemption, the promise of a future filled with more than we could ever imagine. Thank you for the promise that you are doing something new—in us and through us, that the past will be little more than a distant memory heavily outweighed by the new thing welling up inside us (Isaiah 43:18-19).

Help us to be still long enough to perceive the vision of the incredible future you have for us.

Although your former state was ordinary, your future will be extraordinary. Job 8:7

You never promised us an easy life, but you promised you would do so much more than we could ever ask, hope or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Thank you for the assurance that you will use our pain to make our lives extraordinary, that you will use our trials to mold us into your image. Thank you that in the midst of our pain, you are making a way to transform us, to transform our lives in ways we could never imagine.

Help us to be still long enough to transform our perspective to your perspective, to see our circumstances from your position.

Father, it’s so easy to be caught up in the busyness of this life. Help us slow down and be still, be still to know your heart in this season where we celebrate all of the good things you send our way.

In Jesus’ precious name we pray.



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