Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In everything give thanks...

I am thankful that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 doesn't say I have to be thankful for all things, but it does say that I need to be thankful in all things.
There are times in life when being thankful is easy.  I wake up and hear the birds singing and I'm thankful.  I kiss my children awake and I'm thankful.  I spend time with friends and I'm thankful.  I snuggle on the couch with my husband and I'm thankful.
There are times in life when being thankful is hard.  It's hard to be thankful when you are lonely.  It's hard to be thankful when you can't have what you want.  It's hard to be thankful when you feel sick or tired.  But if God says to be thankful in all things, there must be things to be thankful for even in the hard times.
When Anna was sick, I  still had things to be thankful for.
I can remember one really bad night when I was curled up with her in the hospital bed--worn out, without hope, and crying.  A nurse came in and stood with me and rubbed my back.
I was not alone and I was thankful.
Another time I remember asking God to provide for my physical needs.  Later that day I went down to the cafeteria and the person in front of me had extra money on her meal ticket so she paid for my lunch.
  I was not alone and I was thankful.
When Anna was first admitted to the children's hospital, I was exploring the oncology hall and found a playroom.  It was old and hardly had any toys, but there was a cabinet in the corner with VCR tapes.  Most of the tapes were old Barney episodes or Disney movies, but one of them happened to be my favorite movie--a 1970's Barbara Streisand film.  It's not a kids movie.  You can't even find a copy in stores, but it was there.
I was not alone, and I was thankful.
You see, even in the darkest times, God is there with us.  He can reach out in any way he chooses--a pat on the back, a stranger buying your lunch, or even sending your favorite movie--to remind you that you are not alone.

"Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there...
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:7-8,11-12)

There is no place you can go that he is not there.  There is no darkness that is too dark for him.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of are with me. Psalm 23:4 
When you are in that dark place, look for him.  And when you see evidence of him
--in the kindness of strangers,
--in the change of seasons,
--in unexpected blessings,
be thankful.


Reba said...

And now I am thankful you shared this. There are always things to be thankful for, even in the darkest days. Thank you for the reminder!

Laura said...

Thank you. Beautiful words.

THE LEA'S said...

Our church is focusing on Psalm 139 this month and what a blessing to see you reference a verse we talk about at almost every meeting! The Lord is graciously taking us through many trials right now but we are thankful for our burdens, suffering and hard times as they are growing us spiritually and closer as a family! He is our refuge and strength and I am so Thankful for Him! Blessings to you and yours this very Happy Thanksgiving! Love Dawn Lea

kimmy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It blessed me beyond words. I shared it with some of my loved ones and they were blessed as well. Thank you for allowing God to touch us , through your life and your words.
Kim from Kingston, TN.

Liz said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read this tonight. I hope you don't mind if I share the link.