I will never forget the date November 21 several years back, when I was absolutely certain I was going to get my heart’s greatest wish for my birthday — and I didn’t.
I was absolutely crushed.
As I cried into my pillow that night, I remembered this verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
I had made my request made known to God.
And I didn’t get it.
What went wrong?
As I was feeling sorry for myself, God reminded me that a prerequisite to bringing my requests to Him is thankfulness.
I worked to dry my tears — and I began thanking Him for each thing I could think of in that moment.
What was interesting was that the longer I thanked God, the more He took away my anxiety and sadness.
It was not because I got what I wanted.
I did not.
Rather, it was because God replaced what I thought my heart was missing with a very strong sense of His presence.
His presence filled the empty part of my heart with “peace which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
I’d never experienced this transformation like I did that evening.
It was a pivotal reminder of the miraculous power of thankfulness.
Thankfulness springs from love.
When we give God the sincere desires of our heart, and then we give thanks to Him for the myriad of things He’s already done for us, we allow His presence to crowd out the empty chambers of our heart.
We must never be afraid to ask God for what we want, and when we ask with thanksgiving — we should be prepared for something far better than we imagine.
This article appeared earlier in LifeZette and has been updated.