According to the Apostle Paul, gratitude is more than a pumpkin-spice-feeling. It is a matter of obedience to the will of God.
Author and poet Wendell Berry put words into the mouth of a fictional, elderly widow named Hannah Coulter who, in addition to being a crackerjack farmhand when needed and probably making a great pie crust, also had a clear handle on her biblical theology:
“You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this:
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks.’
I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.” (Hannah Coulter, page 113)
In this season of gratitude and pumpkin lattes, I will be focusing on those “right instructions,” knowing full well that I, too, am “not all the way capable of so much.” And yet this business of obedience to the Spirit of God is not to be confused with Operation Bootstrap. It is, rather, an operation by which, “the very God of peace will sanctify me wholly” through purposeful rejoicing in what is given and a prayer life that images the inhale and exhale of breathing.
Rolling into the month of November, whether your greatest challenge is deciding between pumpkin and apple pie** on the day of the feast–or whether God is choosing this season to grow you through adversity, let’s return to the words of Paul in the way we turn to our recipe for fool-proof gravy, knowing that even though we are not “all the way capable,” the instructions are good, for they are absolutely true, and they are given to us with love:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
**P.S. My advice: Go for a small slice of each.
According to the Apostle Paul, gratitude is more than a pumpkin-spice-feeling. It is a matter of obedience to the will of God.Tweet
The Build-Your-Library Book Give Away!
If you’ve been meaning to enrich your reading life with more books written by Christian women, this is your opportunity to win twelve books written by women of faith (and fellow members of the Redbud Writers Guild). Covering a wide range of topics and genres, the give away includes:
The God Dare by Kate Battistelli
The View from Goose Ridge by Cheryl Bostrom
*Making Marriage Beautiful by Dorothy Greco
*Mythical Me by Richella Parham
Finding Holy in the Suburbs by Ashley Hales
*First Ask Why by Shelly Wildman
Beyond Awkward Side Hugs by Bronwyn Lea
*A Prayer for Orion by Katherine James
Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller
Always There by Anne Peterson
*Soul Strong by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
No More Fear by JoHannah Reardon
The asterisk means it’s a book I’ve reviewed here at Living Our Days, and you can click on the title to learn more.
To enter the drawing, head over to your favorite social media (Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) and follow me there. Then, leave a comment here saying where you clicked “follow” and which of the twelve books you’d probably read first. You have until Wednesday to enter, and the winner will be notified on Thursday, November 12.
What I’m Reading Now
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