May 2014 was an unbelievably challenging month for our family.
I relive in my memory the events that transpired in those thirty days, and I wonder how I made it through with a sane mind. (That may be questionable by some.) But in all seriousness, I don’t know how I didn’t just lose it. As a mom, a wife, a business owner, a Christian, life appeared to be crumbling all around me.
Life-altering events that affected my children and husband, my son losing his eyesight in a soccer game which abruptly ended his season, deciding to resign from a position I held for 17 years, concerns of my health, and more. It makes me shudder to recall it all.
Some day I’ll share more when the time is right, but for today, I’m filled with thanksgiving.
thanksgiving: an expression of thanks, especially to God.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I once had a difficult time understanding this scripture.
“How do I give thanks when the bad in life happens?? I’m not one bit thankful for any of that.”
I soon realized the scripture didn’t read, “Give thanks FOR all circumstances.” It read, “Give thanks IN all circumstances.”
I can’t say I was thankful when things started to go south the first weekend in May. But I remember thanking God for protecting our daughter, and for His grace.
I wasn’t thankful our 17-year old couldn’t see that Tuesday night in the E.R. But I thanked God we were all together, and for the hope we had. With or without my son’s vision.
The only solid ground I could stand on was my faith in God and in His Son. All other ground was shifting. I knew They were with me, and during those long nights alone while my husband was at work, They caught every tear I shed.
So many of those nights I didn’t know what to pray, so I just whispered Jesus’ name, over and over, until I fell asleep.
Even though I wasn’t thankful for those awful events, I was able to be thankful through them.
All because I knew God was with me, and I could trust Him. All because of the hope I had in Jesus.
We all experience difficult times, or what I call the “yuck” in life. But through them, there’s always something to be thankful for. More importantly, if we have the life-giving hope that’s found only in Jesus, true thanksgiving naturally stems from it.
I love The Message translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
What can you be thankful IN today? Let’s live out the hope we have. Let’s thank God today, and in the days to come, no matter what happens.
May our thanksgiving spread from our hearts into the hearts of others.
God has carried us through. Six months later the scars remain, but are reminders of God’s faithfulness and love. Our son’s sight has been fully restored. We are most thankful.
Friend, I’m thankful for you today, too.