Asheritah Ciuciu is the author of Unwrapping the Names of Jesus and Comfort Food: Overcoming Food Addiction with the Word of God. Asheritah grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and then studied English and Women's Ministry at Cedarville University in Ohio. Her passion is helping women find joy in Jesus through a deeper walk with God, and she shares vulnerably from her own life experiences on OneThingAlone.com. She is married to Flaviu, a web programmer and artist, and together they raise their spunky daughter in northeast Ohio.
We all want to walk with God, but if you’re like me, it’s hard to put your finger on what that looks like exactly.
There are lots of ways to connect with God, but maybe we’re overcomplicating the spiritual life. If God meant for children to come to Him, surely the joy of knowing Jesus is smack dab in front of us. And maybe it is, but we’re too busy with our checklists and cat videos to see Him.
In times like those, God may use the writings of friends to refocus our attention. Like this quote from the lovely Ann Voskamp:
When I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.
The simple truth is we learn to walk with God when we begin to see Him at work all around us and converse with Him about it. In that constant conversation with our Creator, as we give thanks, our hearts become more attune to the Spirit, and He begins to grow within us.
Making Lent Count–By Counting Blessings
Every year for Lent, millions of people fast from something precious to them in hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of Jesus. I’ve done that, too: I’ve given up sugar, Facebook, and Downton Abby, all in turn.
But what if, rather than giving something up for Lent, we actually gave something out during Lent? What if rather than being focused on the things we can’t have because of our self-imposed restrictions, we celebrate the abundance of what we DO have and recognize all the ways Jesus manifests Himself in our day-to-day lives?
How Thanking Others Can Help Us Walk with God
Let’s be clear about one thing: making a list of blessings isn’t going to get us extra favor with God. Jesus already secured for us God’s eternal grace, and He couldn’t love us any more than He already does.
My prayer is that we’ll learn to see and savor Jesus Christ in the little things this season leading up to Easter, and that our walks with God would become just that: a constant motion forward, thanking Him and others throughout our day instead of just a few moments every morning.
Because if visiting the sick and clothing the naked and feeding the poor all mean we do it to Jesus, isn’t thanking someone in Jesus’ Name also thanking Jesus?
The #40Thanks Challenge
The #40Thanks Challenge is simply this: every day for the duration of Lent, thank one person for something they’ve done, and then thank God for that person.
It’s that simple.
If you need a little extra help, I’ll post a Bible verse or quote about giving thanks on Facebook every day, as well as a challenge to help you thank people around you.
You can join me by sharing your journey using the hashtag #40Thanks. I’d love to hear what God is revealing to you in this period of learning to see Him in the lives of others.
Some days, that may mean a heartfelt “Thank You” or a handwritten thank you note. Other days it might be a shout-out on Twitter or a photo tagging a friend. And on some special days, it might be a loaf of warm chocolate banana bread. But the point isn’t what we’ll be DO-ing; my prayer is we’ll begin SEE-ing Jesus all around us and begin BE-ing filled with His Spirit of gratitude.
Are you ready to embark on a journey of walking with God? Let’s begin by seeing Him in the lives of those around us and thanking them.