February 6, 2020
Even in This
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Amazement and admiration filled me as I listened to a courageous widow publicly thank God for His faithfulness. Only three days earlier, she had been notified that her Christian husband had met his death in a trucking accident. Despite the crushing loss, she spoke with assurance that she would see him again in Heaven. She added that she was grateful that her spouse was free at last from the pain he had long endured as a result of a serious fall some years before.
I was unaware that at the time, this lady was dealing with her own physical pain. In fact, soon after her husband’s passing, she succumbed to cancer and left this world behind. It was hard to believe that both of their places could be left empty within such a short time span. Yet, what a comfort it is to realize that each of them has entered into an eternal home where grief and pain will never be permitted! For them, the hard trials of this life are forever over. Far from feeling the cold emptiness we tend to associate with death, they are vibrantly alive in Heaven.
While she was on this earth fulfilling the obligations laid upon her, this brave woman learned the wonderful secret of a thankful heart. This undoubtedly helped to lift her up and over many of life’s mountains, and it can be the same for all who will follow her example.
When we face overwhelming difficulties, how easy it can be to indulge in self-pity or even bitterness. To give thanks seems like just too much to ask! Yet in so doing, we acknowledge God’s sovereignty, humbly submitting to His will. God will accept our sacrifices of praise, responding with the profound comfort which only He can bestow. Thanksgiving becomes our means of climbing upward, escaping the effects of despair which might otherwise engulf us. Instead of viewing thanksgiving as an unreasonable command, we can grasp it as a life preserver!
Dear Lord, please help me to thank You from my heart, even in painful times. Help me to look for the good You want to bring out of these circumstances. Amen.