I hit a low point this week when I found out we were going to be sharing what we are thankful for and praises for what God is doing in our lives at our Gospel Community meeting. When I found this out I became very cynical about the whole idea. The thought of everyone sitting around talking about all the great things in their life could not appeal to me less. I honestly thought that other than Matt, I don't have anything to be thankful for. All I could dwell upon was how awful this year has been. Losing Isaiah should have been enough to darken this year, but with the bad news compounding around me, its almost more than I can bear. I even emailed a friend on Thursday and mentioned that it felt like God doesn't even like me.
Ridiculous! Thankfully my friend pointed out that this was clearly Satan toying with me and I just needed to yell at him to get away and cry out to God to start filling my heart with his love and his truth again.
I wish I could say that I feel all better, but I don't. But I am simply refusing to let my thoughts be clouded by these negative and ridiculous thoughts. I am realizing more and more than even though I am not feeling the love of God right now that I need to put feelings aside and remain firmly grounded in His truths. He is good and I know He loves me more than I can ever imagine. Even if that were the only good thing in my life, that should be enough. He is enough!
As I pondered my terrible attitude this week, a verse kept popping in my head:
Be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18.
In all circumstances...ouch. When I first read this, I thought this was just cruel. How could God possibly ask me to be thankful when all of these horrid things were happening to us and those we dearly love around us? But that's when the Holy Spirit highlighted a key word for me, "in." I know what you are thinking...she has lost it completely, but really the word "in" made the difference for me. At first I was reading this verse as though it said be thankful "for" all circumstances. Well of course I am not thankful that my son died, that my cousin died, that another cousin is battling a terrifying disease and the many other hard things we are facing, but I can find ways to be thankful "in" these circumstances. I can be thankful for great doctors, dear friends, an amazingly supportive husband, loving family, provision....
Wow, when I start to list the things I am thankful for, its almost hard to stop. God is so good and it feels so good to think of these good things rather than dwell on the negatives.
May you too find the peace of dwelling on the things you can be thankful for in the "ins" of your circumstances.