Jewel crawled out of bed with heavy problems on her mind. On top of her list was their daughter caught in the web of an eating disorder. Two friends also had children with serious problems--one had a son in prison, the other had a 16-year-old daughter who was pregnant but not married.
She worried about her pastor-husband, too. The demands of his work required a constant flow of wisdom and strength.
These needs would keep her on her knees for hours. "Dear God," she pleaded, "please deliver...." Then she stopped. She felt strangely checked not to petition. An impression deep within seemed to say, "Give thanks."
"For what?" she wondered, but the urge to express thanks to God lingered. In obedience, she said, "Thank You, God. You are greater than any eating disorder, and I believe that You will take our daughter safely through this trial." Her friends' children were her next concern. How should she give praise for them? she wondered. The pain is real, the circumstances grim.
"Yet, God, at Your will..." She praised God for his watchful care over her friends' children. She knew God was able to bring good out of even those circumstances.
As she thought about her husband, the words, "Giving thanks always for all things...." came to her mind. She rejoiced: "God, thank You, You are Lee's wisdom and strength!"
She doesn't know how long she knelt in prayer that night, but she didn't ask God for one thing. She only expressed thanks.
Many times since that day, burdens have pressed heavy on her and she has gone to God for help. But before she petitions Him, she gives thanks.
Thank You, Lord, that through praise, we can change our focus from our problems to You, our all-sufficient Provider.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6).