Thursday, November 24, 2016
Being thankful seems easy enough, but sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances which make it more difficult. We have often heard and we have seen it on billboards at this time of the year that there is always something for which to be thankful. No matter how bad it seems, these seasonal words tell us to be thankful. At times it sounds like the guy telling someone in an inescapable pit to look for the silver lining which is, of course, in every cloud. Or, so they say. Sometimes the people who tell us to look for the silver lining, or to be thankful in the worst of circumstances are folks who do not want to see how bad things can really be.
The world with the clouds which always have silver linings is not the world where some folks live. Some folks live in a world empty of silver lined clouds and the darkness seems so deep that it appears impossible to make it. If you have never been in that world, then there is something for which to be thankful. If you have, then you know that the hardest time to find something for which to be thankful is not after going through the darkness, but while you are caught up in it. The view after the darkness has passed is always different than the view from inside the darkness.
The Word of God speaks of "...giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:20) Be patient with those who read those words and loudly say, "Oh, really? You have to be kidding!" The view of the world which enables us to always live with a grateful heart is not something we just fall into because we have said "yes" to Christ. It is the world of those who have endured many bouts where gratitude was overcome by the darkness. It is the world of those who have learned that God is not going anywhere when we are pushing Him away. It is the world of those who do not try to deny the deep darkness in which we often find ourselves, but have learned that even in it, God is at work to bring us through.