Being thankful. It feels right to start thinking about the things we are thankful for, entering into the season of fall. Soon, most of us will be gathered around a table sharing a meal and eating way too many calories than we care to admit! It feels easy to think on the many blessings we have in our lives when things seem to be uneventful. When hearts are happy and life feels comfortable.
What about thankfulness when hearts are sad, days are exhausting, and hope is non-existent? The Bible teaches to be thankful in all seasons. Ouch! That stings a little. How can God ask us to be thankful when so many unimaginable things go on in our sin filled world? When tragedy strikes the innocent or our lives feel like we are running around in circles, never able to catch a break.
True thankfulness needs to rise above our circumstances. Just as offering forgiveness sometimes must be out of choice rather than a feeling, I believe that being thankful heeds the same effort at times in our lives. We have all either faced difficult moments in our past, are currently wading in the waters of them, or unfortunately will someday stumble upon one. But our Heavenly Father knows better than to ask us to be thankful- sometimes. Because we are His creation, made in the image of Himself, the God of the Universe knows us well. God knows that if we only offer Him thanks when life seems good, we will fall deeper into the pit of self -pity and despair as we draw away from Him when times are not. It is impossible to draw near to the Creator with ungratefulness in our hearts. Like oil and water, we will naturally separate ourselves from Him if we associate our mere circumstances with His favor.
God so often gets the blame when we enter times like these in our lives. It is easy to feel that He has betrayed us and we can acquire tunnel vision as we only see the walls around us and not the help that He has already called on the way. He longs to show us amazing blessing during all seasons in our lives. It is during the times in our pit that He is trying to show us His face more than ever. He is placing others in our path, circumstances that will aide, and healing like we have never known before if we just keep our eyes open and fixed on Him. If we continue to offer Him praise and thanksgiving for merely His love, we can’t help but be filled with it. We can be thankful for His presence as He carries us through those days, and know that our gratitude towards Him will actually become the very thing that lifts us out and gets us through.
With Love- April
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus