12th November 2022

Awakened to gratitude

Many of us wake up in the middle of the night, minds racing with fears, worries and/or things we need to do. We toss and turn, hoping to go back to sleep for a little while, with nothing to show for our wakefulness but frustration. 

When sleeplessness afflicted King Xerxes (see Esther 6), something (or someone) prompted him to call for the book of the history of his reign. As the attendant read it, the king discovered an account of the assassination plot by two of his guards. He asked if anything had been done to reward Mordecai for exposing the plot and to his dismay, the answer was nothing. The honor bestowed on Mordecai was a pivotal point in the ensuing chain of events, causing Haman’s hatred to escalate and his plans for revenge to hit max on the retaliation meter. 

I had a similar experience one night, awakening to the thought that I had left something undone. It was from months ago, completely forgotten but necessary to make right. My experience wasn’t as momentous as the King’s, but it made me realize how much we leave undone, how we need to show more gratitude to God and others and how remarkable our minds are. I am also in awe of the Holy Spirit who can bring back memories from the past, reminding us to give more thanks or to correct an error or even a sin. 

While it’s good to focus on the present, it can be beneficial to look back sometimes. The Israelites were constantly recounting the way God had taken care of them in the past, not only to teach the younger generation, but to remind themselves of his goodness and provision. Psalm 78 tells us to remember: ‘Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.’ (Psalm 78:7, NIV). Perhaps we can put those sleepless nights to better use, not filling them with fear or anxiety, but by asking God to remind us of his loving care and of ways we can better love others going forward.

Study by Tammy Tkach

First published on 18 October 2022, at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com


About the writer:
Tammy Tkach is the Assistant Pastor of the Eugene, Oregon, USA congregation. She is a speaker and writer, and publishes a blog at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com  

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