Welcome to Wednesday Wanderings with Dr. Sherri–a time we set aside to wander in the Presence of Jesus and ponder His truths. When you are ready, prepare your mind, body, and soul to have a transformational encounter with Jesus.
PREPARATION: In our last Wandering with Dr. Sherri, we examined Where are the thankful people. This week we will examine Thanking in Advance? When you are ready, you may begin the dialogue with Jesus and state: “Jesus, I invite you to help me to leisurely wander into your Presence. Prepare my heart to receive, and illuminate my spiritual senses to encounter you.”
PROMISE: Psalm 34:1 Amplified Bible
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Thanksgiving is not just a holiday. It is a continuous mindset thanks God for yesterday, today, and the days to come.
Psalm: Come, Ye Thankful People Come 1844
By: Henry Alford (1810-1871)
For the Lord our God shall come
And shall take His harvest home
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore
Henry Alford paints the image of gathering a harvest. He looks ahead at the ultimate gathering of Jesus coming for the saints as a reason the thankful people should come and give thanks. We give thanks in advance that Jesus shall come for us.
PARABLE: I have many vivid memories of the Thanksgiving holiday which span from childhood to adulthood. The common memory that arises is the family Thanksgiving prayer. From the youngest to the oldest, we link our hands together and each person says a sentence prayer of what they are thankful for and why they are thankful. Each year the circle grows with a new toddler added. There is always a young child that stares forward in silence when it is their turn to share their gratitude because it is their first encounter with the gratitude circle. The child’s parent will prompt them by saying, “Just say, Thank you, Jesus!” Reluctantly, the child utters, “Thank you Jesus!” not fully understanding why He is saying this but understanding that reciting the sentence is not an option.
Then it happens, one of the aunts or uncles gets the privilege to explain “why” we are grateful. Inevitably, a conversation about Jesus will erupt and usually ends in an explanation that we thank God that Jesus is coming back. This conversation is usually far above the comprehension of a toddler but the adults delight in painting the picture of the future and why we thank God in advance. This summer, I had the privilege to witness the “aha” of a great-nephew when he expressed that he understood the coming of Jesus. While we were 0n our family vacation and it was time for the gratitude circle, (yes, we do it at every family gathering and not just Thanksgiving) my great-nephew volunteered to lead the gratitude circle. He began, “I thank you God for Jesus!” and then went on to almost lead an alter call. He gave thanks for the family, for the privilege of vacation, for protection from Covid-19, and finally for the food. It was a priceless moment. The prayer that was planted as a toddler bloomed and my great-nephew knew that he should give thanks in advance for Jesus who is coming back for us.
Ultimately, in my opinion, giving thanks in advance to Jesus who will return to gather us and take us to live in eternity is the greatest blessing we can offer. As you gather this week to give thanks, maybe your sentence prayer will be “I thank you
Soul care training exercise: Come ye thankful people come and give thanks in advance that the Lord shall come. As we experience the blessings and miracles of each day, will you take time to Ponder the question In this moment, why am I thankful that Jesus will return?
- Reflect and let the Holy Spirit reveal to you why you are thankful that Jesus is coming back?
- Notice without judgment and with a curious awareness of what comes to your mind. Invite God into your sanctified imagination. Ask Him to bring to your attention what He wants you to know about the things which came to your awareness.
- Next scan your mind and notice what the Holy Spirit is sharing about the type of gratitude you expressed. Were the first things for the spiritual things of God? Physical things? or People?
- Finally, Focus on what you see and hear. Ask the Holy Spirit what you need to know, hear, or do. Expand your thoughts, it may be something you never heard told this way before. With a breath of gratitude, breathe in and breathe out and accept what Jesus is offering to you.
PRAYER: Abba, I give thanks, I rejoice, I sing praises that Jesus will return for me. He will gather me like farmers gather the crops and take me to live with Him eternally. Help me to keep thanksgiving in my heart for the past, the present, and the future. Help me to thank you in advance for what you will do. In the saving name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
PRAISE: Now that you have emptied your mind of the clutter and wandered with Jesus, take a closing moment to give thanks to God for his goodness, compassion, and lovingkindness. Then take the mindfulness of Jesus’ Presence in these last few minutes of wandering into the next ones and beyond.
Until next time, be Resonant.
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