• Dave Earley

The Power of Thanksgiving

Never underestimate the power of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and depression can’t live in the same house or the same heart.

Thankful for mustard

I had just fallen asleep. “You have to come right away!” the voice on the phone shouted in the middle of the night. “Diane’s in the closet with a cord around her neck and says that she’ll kill herself if you can’t talk her out of it.” (No pressure there, right?)

I crawled out of bed and got dressed. Diane and her family lived only a few minutes away. As I drove to their house I prayed, “God, I thank You for having this under control. I thank You that You will help me and give me wisdom. I thank You that You love Diane and that You will help her tonight.”

When I walked into their small house, I felt a heavy dark cloud of spiritual oppression. Diane was still in the closet and still threatening suicide. I talked with her husband Mark and found that this was triggered because he had lost his job…again.

I talked with Diane and discovered that this new financial pressure, compounded by the presence of four small children, was more than she thought she could bear. All she saw ahead of her was hopelessness. She could not take it anymore and this was her desperate cry for help.

I felt a definite prompting from God to give her a proposition. I was mostly confident if she tried to carry out the suicide we could break down the door and rescue her in time, if it came to that. However, I was still shocked as these words came out of my mouth.

“Diane, I’ll make you a deal. If we cannot come up with one hundred reasons for you to be thankful, you can go ahead and kill yourself. But if we come up with a hundred reasons for you to be thankful, you have to come out and talk.”

What have I done? I thought. One hundred reasons? We will never make it.

She cried out, “I am not thankful for anything. I just want to die.”

“Not so fast,” I said. “First, let us at least try to come up with one hundred reasons to give thanks.” I looked at Mark anxiously.

“Stacy, Katy, Lyndsey, and Matthew,” her husband Mark said, naming their four children. “That’s four good reasons to be thankful.”

“The fact that we live in a house and not an apartment. You said that just last week,” he added anxiously. “That’s five.”

“Did you eat dinner tonight?” I asked. “Many people went to bed hungry tonight.”

“Yes,” she said.

“That’s six!” Mark noted.

Eventually we were listing everything she had in her refrigerator which wasn’t much. But she did have ketchup and mustard. When I said mustard, she giggled.

Soon after that, the closet door creaked, and Diane came out with a guilty expression. “I am sorry to do this to you. I don’t want to die. I have too much to live for.”

Never underestimate the power of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and depression can’t live in the same house or the same heart.

Why don’t you take a few minutes and thank God for ten things He has done for you or given you?

Adapted from the book, 28 Days to Powerful Prayer, Dave Earley, Barbour Books,

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