Being Th(i)nkful at Midnight
Psalm 119:62 says “At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous judgments.” Often when I am not able to sleep, I get up and go to the kitchen, make a cup of tea, read in my Bible and begin to journal my th(i)nkful lists.
It brings healing for my soul.
Writing down how God is doing wondrous things from infinite to infinitesimal builds healing in my broken pieces and hope. He is infinite mind and infinite power and is the sovereign designer and ruler over all of my circumstances.
Thinking Thanks About My Trauma
A car hijacking at gunpoint and being awoken by someone stealing inside our house while we were sleeping were some of the worst traumatic incidents of my life. Many others have gone through much more difficult scenarios.
It is interesting to experience this after going through some trauma. Every time you retell your traumatic story, you get rid of a little more of the sting. An old Swedish proverb states: “A burden shared is a burden halved; a joy shared is a joy doubled.”
If you’re of a th(i)nkful mindset, you can strengthen other people by sharing 1) the Scripture that came to mind to guide and comfort you in the furnace, 2) the ways in which your trauma could have been worse, and 3) the ways that you’ve become stronger and wiser as a result of the test, and 4) the ways in which your relationships with God and others have become deeper and less self-serving.
Passing Along Th(i)nkful Skills
I had this happen to me recently in Egypt. A couple had gone through traumatic incidents in South Sudan were they served at an orphanage. Seeking to build relationships, David and I chatted with them about some of the traumatic experiences we had in South Africa. I mentioned my hijacking incident and said that Philippians 4:8 had been an anchor for my thoughts.
Although my hijacking incident did not end in death or severe pain, I had been tempted to think out the “what if’s.” The words “think on what is true” arrested my panicking thoughts. I was so thankful for how the truth of God’s Word helped heal me from my trauma. Focusing on verses concerning God’s sovereignty build my confidence in His meticulous providence – all the details of my life are orchestrated for my Christlikeness and His glory. There was no alternate ending to my trauma; it was what He planned. In fact, I am immortal, invincible and indestructible until God is finished with me. And when His story called “Karin’s life” is finished, there is nothing that will keep me here!
The next day our new friends came up to us and shared how something difficult had happened with some of their friends just the night before, and how they used Philippians 4:8 to encourage and comfort them. God’s Word had ministered not only to me, but sharing how I had been helped by God’s word, had ministered to others. Praise Him!
It’s a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name,
O most High. Psalm 92:1
We cannot think thanks about our trauma unless we trust that God is sovereign in all our affairs. We see in the scriptures that thinking the way God desires us to, trusting in Him and acknowledging Him in our ways, brings healing to us. That healing begins in our soul and can minimize physical stress-induced illness as well.
Following Proverbs 3:5-7 brings us to Proverbs 3:8. “It will be healing to your flesh, and refreshment to your bones.”
Trust in the Lord’s sovereign design, purposes and control, and then think thanks, no matter how bitter your grief. Allow grace to help you process your trauma through the grid of th(i)nkfulness. Ultimate physical healing is when we receive our perfect bodies in heaven.
Th(i)nkful is an adjective and used just like thankful. The difference is to simply highlight that to be truly thankful, you have to choose to think thanks and express it.
Th(i)nkful (adj) ~ choosing to download grace/strength from the Lord to think thanks about every circumstance in your life and express that thanks orally or in a written form.