I found myself emotional on the 4 hour drive home. I was finished serving 1 week at a camp which included giving 10 messages on moving from mountains to miracles and moving from our problems to God’s promises. (Did you know there are over 8,000 promises recorded from God in the Bible?) However, I was confused as to why I was so emotional.
I asked God what was going on in my heart. I’m still processing and I think I have a few words to describe some of what happened to me. The week was full of campers asking the best questions and cabins inviting me to sit at their tables at meal times so they could ask me questions. During chapels and campfires the kids wonderfully put up their hands and asked me simple yet often profound questions so they could learn. Their hungry hearts were beautiful and so refreshing.
I had both staff and kids approach me throughout the week privately to ask me some deep heart questions. I found myself leading several to personally encounter Jesus and allow His Holy Spirit to speak to the depths of their hearts. They shared with me what they heard or saw with the eyes of their hearts.
Throughout the week, I explained how simply saying ‘thank you’ to God opens the gates to His presence. I led them through this simple exercise several times. Here’s one passage in the Bible that I referred to:
“Know this: God is God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.“
(Psalm 100:3-5 The Message version)
The kids often shared some of what they sensed and saw from the Lord when they would speak to Him and ask Him questions. It was absolutely beautiful.
One thing I had not expected was how many times kids and staff, guys and girls said, ‘thank you’ to me EACH DAY. Over and over. And over and over again.
Driving home, I realized that the many words of thanks were still weaving their way into my heart and healing a previous chapter in my life of being so often told how I was not doing enough, which led to burnout and I had to learn how to walk and talk again. Clearly, the Lord had more for me through the words of both young and old – both guys and girls.
*This note pictured below from a young lady on staff was the icing on the cake.
Saying ‘thank you’ to God not only heals your heart and brain (even science confirms this), but I am convinced more than ever that saying ‘thank you’ to your PEOPLE will heal THEIR hearts and minds.
Take a moment today and ask God:
“Who in my life are you inviting me to thank today?”
Ask Him how to do that? – Perhaps with a note, a hug, quality time, a gift, an act of service?
I’m quite sure that turning AWAY FROM criticism and TO SAYING ‘THANK YOU’ could change our families, our communities, our nations.