The generator had been shut down hours before. Funny how many things you can hear in the middle of the night without the hum of electricity drowning out the sounds of the earth. I was twenty-one and wide awake in a foreign land, and God had met me there.

Of course he was there. He’s everywhere.

But somehow less noise, less stuff, less of me had helped me see him more clearly than I had in a very long time. 

To my shame, I had uttered a lot of telling words in the weeks leading up to the trip…

Words of doubt as I struggled to make solid plans for my future.

Words of envy as I saw others prospering around me while I floundered.

Words of strife as I worked hard to take one step forward, only to end up two steps back.

Words of emptiness as I secretly chased worldly acceptance over God’s ways.

Words of frustration as I questioned the lack of peace my life.

My heart had been so consumed with all that was going wrong that – sadly – I was stuck wallowing in the negative instead of joyfully pursuing God and his Word.

“I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” ~ Psalm 119:59

But in the quiet of that night, when everything else had been stripped away, God’s Word came alive.

I was reminded that my future is in God’s hands (Jeremiah 29:11).

I rejoiced over the fact that God is for me, and that his ways are intended for my good (Romans 8:31-32).

Peace flooded my soul as I once again found delight in God’s commands (Psalm 119:35).

And instead of sleep evading me due to the usual stress and overthinking, I was kept awake by a profound gratefulness for God’s unmerited grace in my life.

It was high time that I uttered new words…

midnight

I used to resent how often my desperation drives me to the feet of Jesus, but now I know that very place is often where I find even more reasons to celebrate the goodness of God.

Why?

Because his grace is simply more beautiful in my need. 

When little ones won’t settle down for the night, I will rise up and give you thanks.

When relationships are strained, I will rise up and give you thanks.

When my health is compromised, I will rise up and give you thanks.

When my future is unknown, I will rise up and give you thanks.

When I am persecuted for my faith, I will rise up and give you thanks.

When nations turn their backs on you God, I will still rise up and give you thanks.

“Whatever else may happen in this world, whoever else may turn their back on you when the chips are down, of this you may be sure: he whose trust and hope and confidence is in the unfailing love of God will never be put to shame.” ~ Sam Storms

Father, because of your righteous laws and your steadfast love – no matter what trials come our way – we can rise up and give you thanks.

And just like that, thanksgiving turns night into day…

At His feet,

*LET’S TALK: What kinds of words are you uttering in your trials? Whatever’s going on in your life right now, together, let’s flood heaven with prayers of thankfulness to God for his righteous laws and steadfast love. Would you share your prayer in the comments today?

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