Giving Thanks for His Nearness
As Thanksgiving approaches and we take a time-out to give thanks to God, I am profoundly aware of His nearness. Gratitude is a way for us to increase nearness to God. Even though the Biblical command of giving thanks to God isn’t apparent until the Book of Leviticus, the tangible, overt act of gratitude towards God seems to be a matter of position – and posture. Thanksgiving is an action word, while thankfulness is a learned response.
In this agony of watching my beloved husband suffer, it is truly God’s nearness that keeps comforting me. I just can’t seem to live in the future as I am accustomed to, my eyes always watching the horizon. And while “take it one day at a time” seems wise counsel, for me it seems less than helpful.
My husband trained me up in the ways of God and even though he is declining, I can’t believe how alive the Spirit of God is still inside him. I will never stop praying for God to heal him, but I just don’t feel able to justify my hope that God will keep him here while I see Mark at peace with the imminent reality of God taking him home. How is that even possible? How can peace for the end and hope for more time be in such tension all the time? The only answer I can bear is to remember is the nearness of God.
This is a hard season, but it is also a holy season. This is a season to thank God for being exactly who He claims to be: the One who sent His Son to heal the world. I believe that even more now because I see how much my children have grown closer to God – and one another – during these past two years.
At the risk of being seen as too vulnerable, let me give you some real-life Bible intel to help pull you through the days ahead. Our precious hospice coordinator spoke with me just as I was writing this and reminded me: “Daniah, cultivate deliberate gratitude.” Remember, we are commanded to present thanksgiving offerings because WE NEED to be grateful, even when we are hurting. So, here is how I wrap myself in God’s words to push my brain back in to the right lane and clean my heart from negativity:
Then ADONAI said, “See, a place near Me – you will stand on the rock. While My glory passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and cover you with My hand, until I have passed by.
Exodus 33:21 TLV
Thank you, God, for knowing exactly when and how to shelter my heart and comfort me with your powerful Presence. Your lovingkindness is better than life.
2. …the word is very near to you- in your mouth and in your heart, to do it.”
Deuteronomy 30:14 (& Romans 10:8) TLV
Thank you, God, for giving me your Word to realign my heart and mind in Messiah Yeshua. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
3. “To those who are near Me I will show myself holy. Upon the faces of all the people I will be glorified.”
Leviticus 10:3 TLV
Thank you, God, for showing me glimpses of your glory in the faces of my friends and family – especially now. You are the salvation of my countenance and my God.
4. “…for what great nation is there that has gods so near to them, as ADONAI our God is whenever we call on Him?
Deuteronomy 4:7 TLV
Thank you, God, for always shining your face upon us and upon all Israel. You are my stronghold, the God in which I trust.
5. Draw near to Me, hear this: Since the beginning, I have not spoken in secret. From the time it existed, I was there. So ADONAI Elohim has sent Me, and His Ruach.
Isaiah 48:16 TLV
Thank You, God, for being so real in my life that I will never be ashamed of the Gospel. My Messiah was raised from the dead and death holds no sting.
6. Seek ADONAI while He may be found, call on Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:6 TLV
Thank you, God, for Your illumination that becomes my declaration. You know the plans you have for me, plans for good and not for evil to give me a future and a hope.
7. Draw near to my soul and redeem it. Psalms 68:19
Thank you, God, for being both strong and loving – nothing is impossible for You. I am forever grateful that Your mercy triumphs over judgement.
8. “…now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News.
Mark 1:15 TLV
Thank you, God, for giving me a husband who believed in Your promise of salvation and taught me to cultivate the Kingdom of God in our midst. I am so comforted by Your nearness, in Your Presence is fullness of joy.
9. But for me, it is good to be near God. I have made my Lord ADONAI my refuge. So I will tell of all Your works.
Psalm 73:28 TLV
Thank you, God, for letting me hide in your arms when I want to run away. Choosing to face you, and run to the stronghold of Your Holy Name gives me peace. Don’t ever let me stop praising you.
10. Besides this, you know the time- that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first came to trust. The night is almost gone and the day is near, so let us put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:11-12 TLV
Thank You, God, for growing my faith in Messiah Yeshua everyday so I can trust you even more. Please help me be self-controlled and sober-minded in prayer.
11. Therefore let us draw near to the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 TLV
Thank You, God, for strengthening my heart and renewing my mind with Your nearness. My soul waits patiently for You – even one moment at a time.
12. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded.
Jacob 4:8 TLV
Thank You, God, you for understanding the tangled emotions of my humanity and loving me still. Your love does endure forever and I want to be more like You.
Gratitude is nearness to God. Enjoy Him this Thanksgiving.
I hope this helps.
I pray the Lord will bless and keep you. He is our refuge and strength. Will be praying for you and your husband and family. Thanks for blessing us.
Much due to your Kingdom Work, … we naive gentiles here in New England now ‘LIVE a SHABBAT LIFE’ ! THANK YOU ! …b.
God Bless You & Keep You ALWAYS ! my very dear dear friends in Messiah !
I Love You ALL so very much for the blessing you have become in my life and in our small congregation. Please know we will set aside individual prayer time for Rabbi Mark this Shabbat ! My heart aches for your difficult time ! TLV has made a HUGE difference to our group and will continuweto do so as we advocate for Christian congregations to gain the FULLNESS made available thru TLV !!! …. BLESS YOU ALL, and most especially Rabbi Mark for his patriarchal guidance. WE LOVE U and BLESS YOU !!! ……….. bill b.
Thank you so much for this inspiring message. I think it’s something I like to read every Thanksgiving or just to be thankful. The Lord bless you Daniah and family. Happy Thanksgiving….
My family and I face daily the challenges of my husband’s dementia (primary progressive aphasia). Slowly losing the the friend, father, brother, husband, the man we once knew. Faith is what I wake up with and faith allows sleep to come easy. Praise the Lord for His constant love and presence. His Will be done for it is perfect. Shallow and Thanksgiving prayers.
The Lord carries us with His peace when we are passing through these deep sorrows. I am widowed 9 years, and His grace is sufficient. I am grateful.
I love my TL bible and cannot put it down. I am a non-Jewish believer, grafted in.
God bless you, Daniah
You are so loved and cared for in this time!
So many are praying for you and your beloved husband!
Sorrow is but for a night, but joy comes in the morning!
Adonai is your covering and His hand of blessing is over you and upon you. His Ruach is your comforter.
Adonai has given you the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Keep on praising Him for all that He has done!
Blessings and shalom through Yeshua.
Daniah – such powerful words! May you find peace in the upcoming days. It will be bittersweet. I will keep all that you have said close to my heart. Thank-you for sharing. Blessings
Thank you for a thought and worship provoking piece.
Beautiful, appropriate, convicting, and well said Truths.
May God continue to sustain you.
Peace be with you sister. Praise be to Our Lord Yeshua! You aee a very strong sister in the word. I am so glad I stopped to read this email. I stand in the gap with you for your answered prayer of healing for your husband. For by his stripes he is healed in Messiah Yeshua!
My family and I lost my 14 yr old daughter two years ago. She died of cardiomyapthy. (I spelled that wrong) the point is she was not supposed to live that long they said she should have died as a child the dr.s told us. The point I want to make is The Lord numbers our days. I know she is not suffering and she has her new heavenly body. She loved Yeshua and used to speak about him with authority. Thank you for sharing with us and I know the Lord will be with you thru it all. Happy Thanksgiving. May peace be with you.
Baruch HaShem Thank you Daniah for your beautiful prayer.
May HaShem continue to bless you husband and family for such a time as this. May the Shalom of the Ruach HaKodesh Yeshua cover you under His Tabernacle, in the Merit of Yeshua.
Amen v Amen