Thank you even when…
As the calendar rolls around tomorrow to another Thanksgiving, I pause to remember the last 365 days. I’ve had many wonderful moments where I’ve built beautiful memories. I’ve also had some pretty low moments of hurt, pain, and loss. Paul wrote that we should,
“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thanking God seems so natural on the good days; pretty easy even for some difficult days where I’ve seen the good come about. The challenge is being thankful for the dark days, the decisions of others that are unsettling, and for the situations where prayers are yet to be answered. Yet even as I struggle to be thankful for some events this past year, I can see some good that has come about in my life.
Though I still await those prayers to yield visible results, I must say I’ve seen my faith grow by leaps and bounds. When situations knock our feet out from under us and we can’t fix whatever ‘it’ is, we can choose to rail at God, blame Him, and be bitter OR we can find comfort, strength, and peace we never knew possible even as we stand in the eye of the storm.
A quick glimpse around me yields many who have faced struggles this year. Many friends received cancer diagnoses and fight on, some are dealing with marriage issues, and many have suffered the loss of loved ones.
Being thankful is certainly a challenge yet it is exactly the attitude the Word calls for us to have. WHY? I’ve come to the conclusion that saying ‘thank you, Lord’ even for the hardest days is the equivalent of saying, ‘I don’t understand why I’m facing this, Lord, but I’m going to trust you have a plan for this, for them, and for me.” In light of that truth I say thank you, Lord. Thank you even for the situations I would rather not have encountered this past year for I know you have a plan and I will trust you. Lord, I pray for all those out there who have experienced losses that make this holiday so emotionally charged, for those who are in the middle of a fight for their lives or for their marriages or for their children, for all those who need to pause, look up, and connect with you once again with thanksgiving in their hearts. Be with them. Strengthen them. Bless them. Amen.