{countdown to thanks} UN thank you

Sitting in Starbucks a couple summers ago, I got to listen to my friend Anna as she
unpacked a few chapters from the stories of her summer.
The days at inner city camp were full and never dull.

One afternoon she was out on a boat with a group of students

and the boat broke down.
Anna had to deal with some attitude from one of the girls.

This girl was having a rough day.
Things just were not going her way.
She became frustrated and decided
 venting would make everyone else...
including God, aware.

Sound familiar?
Rough days,
frustration,
 venting to everyone
 including God.

She asked the student to pray and thank God for their time on the water...
What happened next is quite possibly 
my favorite camp story to date.

She prayed,
"Dear Lord I wanna thank 
you for this beautiful day
 and allowing us to go out
 on the boats and have fun.
 BUT I wanna UN thank you for RUINING
 my fun by letting the boats break down. Amen"

 Out of her frustration came disrespect.
Because of her disrespect, 
there were consequences..
like in the form of push ups and sprints.

Have you every prayed a prayer of UN thanks?
The kind of prayer where you call God out for ruining your day
 and make sure He hears your frustrations?

If you are human, you have asked God some questions
 about your own hard days, weeks, months, or years.

Could it be possible to be thankful 
for the times you were not thankful?

Look back over the past year
 and see if you can 
list moments where you 
prayed an "UN thank you" prayer.

Moments when our disrespect gave way to consequences.
Our push ups may have been in the form of being sorry and broken.
The sprints we ran wore us out
leaving us weary and needing healing hydration.

Sometimes our lack of panoramic vision keeps us
 narrow and unable to see the faithfulness of the outcome.

Even in our UN thanks He is faithful.
He is forgiving.
He is patient.
He is gracious.

I love the list of reminders in Psalm 103!

"Praise the Lord Oh my soul and forget not his benefits.
Who forgives all your sins and heals your diseases. 
Who redeems your life from the pit 
and crowns you with love and compassion.
Who satisfies your desires with good things so that 
your youth is renewed like the eagles." 

After the legit feelings are expressed in our UN thanks,
we learn that He has not moved. We create the distance with our sin.
But he is slow to lose it with us.

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious
slow to anger abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse
 nor will he harbor his anger forever.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve 
or repay us according to our iniquities."

As you look back over your list of times you vented your UN thanks...
Do your best to find a way to be thankful for each of those moments.

God was with you in your frustration
 patiently waiting for you to turn, to trust but he also understands you.

To see the ways He taught, 
corrected, and loved you even 
in the non thankful
 times will bring on the thanks.

UncategorizedJenComment