November 18, 2016

Giving Thanks, In Everything...

It's been a little while since my last life update. Things get busy and health struggles are hard and I honestly just don't always have the words to share what it's been like over the past couple years. Something that stays on my mind so often though is this verse in 1 Thessalonians, "In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

In EVERY thing give thanks? That's something I admittedly struggle with not just doing but at times even wrapping my mind around. When I'm only responding with my flesh and focusing on my circumstances anyway. But when I take a step back and look at it from a spiritual perspective and ask God to really help me see how blessed we are regardless of what we are going through, oh how things change. Or my attitude towards thing changes at least and that makes all the difference.

The past couple weeks have been rough(er). Moving again, health issues flared up severely, trying to find a new church, being consistent with schooling, financial struggles, and just every day life stuff. Let's just say that remembering to still give thanks in the middle of it all has been a challenge. One that some days seemed more of a duty than truly heart felt. And I fall into the attitude of thinking that of course it's not wrong to feel discontent with how things are! Who could be thankful for all this? And my focus is completely on the bad with no thought for any blessings, which obviously is not a good place to be.

Then at the same time we are seeking God's will for our lives and sometimes doubting and questioning if we know what that looks like or if we are truly "getting it right". But then I read an article like this and it convicts me and reminds me of that verse all over again. And I go back to read it one more time. Only to find that not only do I have so much I should be giving thanks to the Lord for, but that is exactly how I can be in His will right now!

I'm not belittling what us and many other families are going through, some with way worse trials than ours(like the article above). I truly believe it's okay to be real about struggles because that's needed too so that we don't all feel alone in hard times. But at the same time I don't want to get hung up there and completely neglect to still give thanks.
Because the truth is, God is good. And every day that we are alive is due to His mercy and grace. If He never gave another gift or blessing to me besides just the fact that He gave His own Son to die for my sins and saved me from hell, that's enough to give thanks for. In spite of the hardships in life.

And just like the woman in the Bible, who begged Jesus to help her daughter even though she was just a Gentile "dog", He gives way, way more to us than just the crumbs off the table. He never leaves us, never forsakes us, and always provides exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or even think. It doesn't mean there aren't trials, but only that He is with us through them. And that He's leaving handfuls of blessings on purpose if we take time to get close enough and look for them. And He wants us to take time to thank and praise Him for that!

I'm going to wrap this post up with those thoughts, but next time I plan to be more specific on things I've found to give thanks for during these hard times. I hope this was an encouragement to someone and that you'll join me....