[bl]I[/bl]t’s easy to be thankful when the sun is out. Our human lips speak circumstantial praise, often concerning things of the flesh, and focused on the provisions of God that appear good.
But what about the things that don’t appear good? What about the times that are difficult? Trying? Life taking? How do we say thank you when our children die? Or when love deserts us? Or we lose our job….and house…and savings? What does thankfulness look like when you have to give birth and raise your children without the one on earth who loves you best? When sickness fills your home? Cancer takes us victim? What do you have to be grateful for when your roof caves in and your dream is stolen?
How do we form words of thankfulness when our lips want to curse and everything in us is screaming, “WHY?”
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Is this possible?
Powerful are the words of praise and gratitude that pour from the lips of the hurting, the ill, the lonely, the ones told no, the ones without. They humble me. Let them teach me.
Moses, after obeying God, speaking His words, leading a stubborn people, wandering the desert, writing the law and climbing Mount Nebo to hear that he would not enter the promised land, but will die:
He says, “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.”
Job, after losing his dear ones and all possessions, cursing his very birth, questioning the One who gives and takes away, listening to his friends, and hearing God’s response:
He says, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
A mother, after loosing her everyday King and walking through her darkest hours:
She says, “Somehow I make it through the day. I will say that I’m so grateful to the incredible people in my life…They’ve silently wrapped their love around me and stood by, waiting to be useful. And when I can’t ask for something, they just do it anyway. Not just friends, but strangers too. People I have never even met before are writing me, donating, praying for me…In 2 short months, I’ve learned what it means to lose everything that matters in life. I’ve also learned what true unconditional love from others can do.”
I want my eyes to notice, my heart to feel, and my lips pronounce all of God’s grace around me. May this posture become a habit. Something that prepares me to graciously receive difficult times. To praise God and be thankful in all things.
#32. Bodies that fail us and remind us we’re flesh and bones
#33. A husband who can do almost anything
#34. Children who love to read
#35. Sin that show us we need a savior
#36. Oatmeal eaten after four days of no food
#37. The love between sisters
#38. Quilts to cover us and catch our sickness
#39. Fresh air
#40. A couch in my bedroom for sick children to sleep on.
#41. Homemade chicken noodle soup
#42. The story of Israel, the story of us
#42. The dreams of children
#43. Parents who still feed me and provide for me.
#44. My heart that fears and reminds me that I have a lot of growing to do.
#45. For the ones who have walked before me in this.