Not always a thankful time. It’s actually the toughest time of the year for many. Holidays, like Thanksgiving, are a painful reminder of the difficult year that has just gone by. At times it is nearly impossible to think of things to be thankful for. And yet here we are naming off things we are thankful for. Listening to others who have “won the jackpot” this year. Maybe this is you this year.
Ann Voskamp’s prompts for Counting Your Gifts will occasionally prompt you to list Hard Eucharisteo. (Things that are hard to be thankful for.) Many of us can come up with these easily. What is your hard eucharisteo today? What are you least thankful for?
I’ve asked by son Brian to post for me today. Maybe you relate to him this year.
The holiday we set aside for giving God the thanks He’s due. It’s considered one of those “feel good” holidays–my favorite holiday, truth be told.
So, what do you do when you really don’t feel good today? How do you give thanks when you come into this day with a fractured psyche and a broken heart?
This has been, with one possible exception, the craziest, most emotionally draining, overall worst year of my life. I’ve gone from the heights of happiness to the depths of sorrow like I never would’ve imagined. And, unlike that other year that leapt immediately to the minds of those who’ve known me longest, there’s been no miraculous provision of a solution this time. I know that I’m not alone in this boat today, too.
But, in the midst of my prolonged heartache, I’ve learned at least three things.
First, I’ve learned all over again that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 doesn’t instruct us to give thanks *for* all circumstances, but *in* all circumstances. Not every circumstance has redeeming value–or, at least, sometimes we don’t get to see it. But, there’s always some reason to give God thanks.
Second, I’ve learned that my buddy Andy Lundman captured an astounding, accurate, reassuring truth in his latest single, Rain, when we wrote the line, “My faith has never been so weak, yet oh, so deeply rooted. It has to be to keep me free.” Deep roots can keep us from falling in rough storms, even when we’re battered and broken and weak.
Third, I’ve re-learned how true Job 19:23-27 is. In the middle of overwhelming sorrow, when even the most well-meaning of people have done more harm than good, God is still alive, still a reality.
He’s still good, even when we’re hurting and broken and nothing feels good. We can cling tightly to that reality and offer thanks for it, no matter how the circumstances of our year have played out, how heavy our hearts are, or how many tears we shed while doing so.
He’s still good, even when we’re hurting and broken. #livefreeThursday @ggmandy http://wp.me/p7NFKu-27P
Give thanks intentionally today, my friends. Actually, pause around your dinner table or TVs or couches or bedrooms or workplaces to individually speak the words out loud. There is always a reason. His worthiness, thankfully, isn’t dependent upon our circumstances.
Brian C. Farmer
Purchase “Rain” by Andy Lundman at any of these places:
m linking up with Suzie Eller and #livefreeThursday today