Giving Thanks When It's Hard
The wind blows, and the leaves fall all around. Like a child, I laugh and I joy in their falling. I see them float beautifully to the ground, and oh, how I wish I could float gracefully to the ground.
Surrendering, it’s hard.
I fight it. I fight it with everything in me.
When God asks us to surrender, we all try to hang on to something. For some, it’s control. I try to hang on to my own understanding. I can handle change as long as I can see what it’s doing in me. Right – anyone with me here?!
The questions swirl. Why am I working so long and hard at this job right now? Why do my relationships suddenly look so different? Why are the daily tasks more of a struggle? Why does the cold season suddenly bother me? What are you calling me to do here, Lord? Those are some of my questions this season, and I know you have your own.
Why is my relative sick? Why isn’t this job panning out? Why am I still single? When am I going to be able to move out on my own? When will my business take off?
And amidst all these questions, sister, here we are.
It’s Thanksgiving. Ready or not.
What is so beautiful about giving thanks is, we don’t have to have the answers to all of our questions. In fact, I think Jesus doesn’t want to give us answers as much as He wants to give us Himself. In the questions, He wants to be near and to be real to us. When we open up to let Him close, His joy will caress our cheek like the wind. His love will wrap us up in His arms. His hope will keep us grounded when we can’t understand.
No matter how this season looks, or any season looks, there is always reason to thank Him. Always. And we need to remind ourselves of this. Always!
The practice of gratitude has changed my life more than anything else has. I picked up the book “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp over a year ago, and it changed me. I suddenly saw that God is trying to pour in gifts into our lives every day, to show us how much He loves us. And sometimes we just don’t want to open our hands as a “Yes” to his grace. But when we do…oh, when we do.
When we give thanks, He saves us. You. Me. Every time.
He saves us from ourselves and all our ingratitude. He saves us and shows us that He is always. Always. Enough. For any situation, for any moment.
Sister, I encourage you to start a journal to record God’s gifts. On the days that are just plain hard, especially then, take out your pen and start remembering. Remember that text message you got yesterday just when you needed it. That light that shone right through the trees and into your heart. Remember the warm blanket that you woke up wrapped in this morning. Remember the card that someone gave you just because. Remember all the ways He loves you.
And today, as we prepare for Thanksgiving soon, let’s remember that every day is Thanksgiving. Every day is a gift and every moment God’s presence is near – it’s our greatest gift of all. Rather than focus on all the things we don’t know, let’s do this together, shall we? Let’s embrace the One we do know is faithful. The One who never changes with the seasons. He’s waiting for us to come back to Him.
I don’t know what you’re thankful for this year, or this day, but each time we open to say, “Thank you, God,” we can see His love is all around.
So no matter if today has been a hard day or a good day or a both- day… mouth it to Him. A real, honest “thank you.”
Can’t wait to see you here back next week. This space and you – one of the gifts I’m counting this year!
Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friend!
“Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your moth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
-Psalm 103:1-5 (NKJV)
Written by: Kerri Lynne Cole