Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful. If we wait until one time a year to think about what we are grateful for, we do a disservice to our souls. Each day God hides opportunities to know Him more. We have every reason to be grateful for every moment of every day.
The worst day of my life will surely be the morning I awoke to find my husband unconscious in our home. Even on the worst day there was a long list of people and experiences of God’s love for which I could be grateful. I was immediately surrounded by half the staff of ministers with whom Brian worked. I only made one call to his assistant, and everyone came running to be by his side (and mine). I’m so grateful that in the midst of my shock my sister-in-law had the good sense to buy Rachel a flight and get her on her way—she arrived just after lunch. When I thought about my friends, I called one and gave her a list of those to call because I knew they would kill me for not knowing what was going on. I missed a few, but they didn’t mind. When they found out, they were by my side. I’m grateful that my friend Angie insisted on taking me home for a shower and fed me chicken noodle soup on the car ride home. I’m grateful that in those few moments alone God spoke to my spirit and gave me hope through His word.
My list goes on and on for the days that followed. There was always something or someone to be grateful for. God makes sure of that. Even in this evil world full of bad news and anxious situations, we can find reason to be grateful. If it is only for the air you can breathe free of charge or the blue sky above, we all can find a reason to thank God each day.
I can only imagine what the conversations between Adam and Eve and God were like before the fall. It seemed that God made this world just for us humans, and He delighted in seeing how we responded to His goodness. He gave us a world full of only good, and we corrupted it through our own sin. Now our grateful journey must include evil right along with the good. Many of us only focus on the evil and forget about all the good.
God doesn’t expect us to be Pollyannaish. Gratefulness must take in the full reality of the evil. I’m grateful that God did not abandon this world. It is pretty bad even as it is with all His love. Can you imagine if God totally went away?
A grateful life is a full life. I know that I cannot see God’s goodness without intimacy with God. I easily overlook that God is good when I hear of triplets being lost or two bad diagnoses in a row. I’m not saying that it makes perfect sense. I’m just saying that those things that we cannot be grateful about are happening in the midst of realities that are worthy of our notice. We should not allow our souls to remain blinded to God’s goodness. Though I’m very unhappy that I don’t get to live the rest of my life with my husband and my children are missing their father and our best friend; I am grateful for his great salvation and that he is in heaven enjoying his rewards of seeing all of God’s goodness. Those of us still behind the veil can only be grateful for the blue sky, the leaves that turn brilliant, unique colors each fall.
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and wish your soul to practice thanksgiving every day. Use David’s example in Psalm 31:9: I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. Learn to be glad and rejoice in God’s love because He sees how much we live in anguish due to our afflictions!