Yesterday was the least stressful Thanksgiving day I remember. It was just my husband and I at home. We lost my father earlier this year, and the remainder of our family we normally celebrate with were out of state. We had a wonderful meal together, and had a relaxed day, not even having to venture out of the house. I was thankful for the years I had with my parents, thankful for my husband, thankful for friends and family I wasn’t able to see, and thankful for good food and rest. I could have thought of who and what I don’t have in my life currently, but I chose to be grateful for time I’ve had in the past and a relaxing day with blue skies, a bit of crispness to the air, and a beautiful day. I love the following devotional, so I want to share it with you. There’s much for which to be thankful.
I must be honest, sometimes it’s the “all” in that verse that gets me. Most of us can be thankful, for lots of things, at lots of times, but in “all” circumstances? That can be tough.
What about when you find yourself suffering illness, or defeat, or you’re walking through huge loss…what about when a loved one leaves this world too soon and you still can’t see past your tears…or when you’ve been praying for your prodigal loved one to come home and it seems like the prayers are unanswered…what about when you’re discouraged, disillusioned, and struggling with disbelief…or when you’re overwhelmed, overextended, and just fighting being over-stressed…what about when the needs mount high and the way doesn’t look clear…or when people are cruel, life seems unfair, and the enemy’s breathing down your back…what about when the storms come, and the car breaks down, or the air conditioner stops working on a holiday weekend (true story)…
Yes, these are the “all” things that can be hard to find gratitude in, whether it’s huge losses or just life irritations. But God’s word never changes to fit our circumstances. His Truth rises above our circumstance, so that we can too. He doesn’t say give thanks “for it”, but “in it all,” for He knows He’s building more deeply into our lives and character than He could ever build without the hard times.
We’re gaining strength. We’re gaining perseverance. We’re being reminded that true joy is never based on how we feel or our outside situations. We’re understanding that God’s ways are bigger, His thoughts are higher, and we can be assured that He holds us in His hands.
And He is with us.
No matter what you might be facing, the good news is this, you woke up. He’s given us today. And if we’re still here, living and breathing, may our every breath bring honor to Him.
Be assured my friend, you never fight the battles alone. Stay strong. Choose joy. Choose to be grateful in it “all.” For He is building greatness. He’s working things out for good. He hears our prayers, He sees all, and knows all. He has purpose for our pain, and brings hope for our tomorrows…
Grace to you this day.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Recognize today, that the most difficult challenge you’re facing right now, may actually be a greater blessing, as God is working in and through your life in powerful ways. No matter how hard, choose to give Him thanks, in “all” things.
Further Reading: Psalm 118:24, Ephesians 5:20, Psalm 100:1-5