“…give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

~Ephesians 5:20

This is a verse at the end of a list where Paul is telling us how to be wise.  First he talked about how to be children of the light contrasted with what it was like to be children of the darkness.  Now he moves into how to be wise instead of foolish.

I don’t know about you but I would much rather be wise instead of foolish!

It’s amazing to me that part of being wise is giving thanks always and for EVERYTHING!

That isn’t how I always feel, nor does that come naturally to me.

However if I want to be wise (which I do) according to God’s Word then I must be thankful, but what does that look like?

Can I be thankful (full of thanks) when things are hard, or don’t go my way?  When I’m sick, or even worse when a loved one is sick and I can’t help?  What about when someone has hurt me, even wronged me?

The short answer is NO, I cannot.  At least not on my own. I need the Holy Spirit…this is a supernatural thankfulness. Always, in EVERYTHING!

It doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge what is wrong, or that we have been hurt, or that our hearts are breaking for the loved one who is sick.  That would be fake and it doesn’t help anyone.

I think the key is that IN the tears, the hurt and the pain…IN the joy, and the triumphs and the victories we take time to be THANKFUL!

When I’m sick I can be thankful for modern medicine that makes a cold more bearable and less life threatening than it would have been 100 years ago.

In the loss and hurt I can be thankful that I have a God who loves me no matter what people think about me.  He knows my depths and loves me just the same.

In the joy, those happy times when it seems that there’s so much to be thankful for, don’t forget to give thanks.  (For me when things are easier or going my way I often forget to thank God because it is easy.)

So today I’m thankful in this hard place of waiting:

I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve been able to build,

for the time we have had with our family here.

I’m thankful that I can see God working and I can trust that He goes before us, and I can trust His timing and His plan.

I’m thankful for our daily bread.  Not one day have we gone hungry, we have had a safe place to put our kids to sleep, we have had friends, and been very blessed in many ways.

It feels like we have been here for a long long time…and in some ways we have.  There are great things about being here and some very hard things; but today I’m choosing thankfulness through the tears.

 It may not change my circumstances but it changes my heart and my focus.