November 23, 2011

Be Thankful in Everything

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

Families across the country will sit down together and celebrate all of the blessings in their lives: roofs over their head, health, jobs, and loved ones. And it’s true: we have been richly blessed.

But the Bible says a curious thing. It instructs us to, “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19b-20)

Did I read that right? We’re supposed to give thanks to God for EVERYTHING?

I have a lot of friends who are hurting right now. Dear friends who have lost babies and loved ones. Friends who are suffering with their health, unsure if they’ll ever be well again. Friends who have lost jobs and don’t know when they’ll find work again. Are they really supposed to thank God for those things?

And I’ve been there too. When my mom was dying from cancer, I read this verse and scoffed. At first.

But then I read another verse: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1: 2-4)

It’s then I realized: I didn’t have to be thankful for the fact that my mom was dying before my eyes, but rather, thankful for the chance to grow closer to my Lord. Thankful for the chance to see His work in my life. Thankful for the chance to see His light in the darkness.

Because if we never experienced darkness, we wouldn’t really know what light was.

And so, even though it was the hardest thing I ever had to go through, I’m thankful that it led me straight back into my Savior’s arms and that I experienced pure joy (but that’s the topic for another post down the road).

Your Turn: What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

*Due to Thanksgiving, I’ll be taking a break from blogging until Monday.


  1. At the moment I am very thankful for your post. I needed to hear that today. I have been struggling to count my blessings (I blame it on lack of sleep, isn't it amazing how our attitudes are affected my how rested our bodies are?).

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Oh, and I relate to how the pain of losing a parent draws you closer to God. I miss my dad so much, but I am grateful his death brought me closer to Christ. It's like it was his last gift to me, the best gift of all.

  2. TC, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with that! Happy Thanksgiving to you too.