Thankful For It All
In this season of thankfulness, what if there is something we should be thankful for we haven’t considered? It’s important to take the time to remember to be thankful for the good things we receive, for our health, our families and our jobs. We should be grateful we have running water and roofs over our heads because so many around the world do not.
But…there are things in all of our lives that happen that we don’t usually consider being thankful for. I’m talking about the problems, the losses, the failures and the pain. Are we thankful for those, probably not. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I read a story recently that really made me think about being thankful for the good and the bad. You can read it by clicking on the link, “Thankful for the Thorns”.
Are the unpleasant things all bad? Can we begin to look at them differently and just consider that they might be a blessing? So many times we are thankful for the good things that come to us but consider that bad things are…well…bad. When someone hurts us it hurts, duh. When we lose a job it’s not only inconvenient but can be costly unless we get another one quickly. When we suffer disease, depression, or anxiety it hurts us and can hurt those around us.
But if we were to really think back and look at those hurtful situations, we may see just how they turned out to be a blessing. I had a bad breakup once that I thought was a horrible thing. It was so hurtful. But then I met a man who I later married and I could not imagine my life without him!!! He has been such a blessing to me in innumerable ways! If the other relationship had worked out I would have missed not only the life I’ve lived but also the destiny on my life since we later became Pastors.
I remember when my father died. He was only 61. That was so difficult. But at his funeral my sisters then boyfriend responded to the Salvation call and was born again. They were married a year later and they have served God their whole lives and raised their children in the Lord!
In the past 12 years we have moved all over the country working at different churches. I really really hate moving, leaving our families and the constant change. But…I cannot believe the relationships that we have been blessed with in every state we have lived in, friendships that have supported us, loved us, and been like family to us. There are so many young ladies I have been able to mentor and couples we have counseled and their marriages were saved.
At the time we were moving it was extremely painful and difficult. I became very depressed and suicidal. I didn’t know how I could go on or make it through that season. Looking back now, I realize how much I learned through it all. I learned to examine my own heart, deal with deep unhealed wounds and find deliverance, contentment and peace like I have never known. I can honestly say today that I wouldn’t change any of the deeply hurtful experiences I’ve had during that time. Though they led me into debilitating depression, I was able to let God use my pain for my good and teach me many things I would not have learned another way.
So many times it’s not what we go through that damages us as much as how we respond to what we go through. We can choose to let our pain destroy us or we can ask God to show us what we can learn from it. We can take the time to see how He has or can use for our good what seems so bad. This Thanksgiving lets spend some time being thankful, for our many blessings but also for the difficult things we have faced.