Giving Hard Thanks

2 Mar

I just read this phrase and it struck me, hard.

We often find saying “Thank you” an easy thing, often in response to a gracious gift or gesture from another.

But what happens when we must give thanks for the seemingly not so gracious.

What happens when giving thanks is hard?

Paul’s pen urges,

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thess. 5:18

In every thing.

That doesn’t leave out the hard things.

Every thing means every thing.

All.

The whole.

Every thing.

Including…

When my plans haven’t quite worked out like I so meticulously planned.

When He withheld what I so desperately longed for.

When friends moved away.

When grandparents and 3 sweet cousins slipped from this life into Eternity all too soon.

When life seemed anything but fair.

When doors closed that I wanted so badly to remain open.

When seasons and phases of life have all too quickly come to end.

While others all too slowly arrive.

Times when giving thanks has been hard.

Times when the last thing I felt like doing was saying “Thank You.”

These are the times when my Savior’s gentle whisper has challenged my heart.  Changing a heart full of complaint and frustration into a heart overflowing with thanksgiving.

He has a way of making giving hard thanks possible.

He reminds me that while I see only the thread He sees the beautiful tapestry He’s so lovingly weaving.

He reminds me that while I can’t figure out how these pieces fit together, He sees the completed puzzle.

He reminds me that while I’m focused on all the colors that don’t quite match from my angle, He sees the final masterpiece He’s painting.

So for these hard things I say a hard but hearty “Thank You.”

Because most of the time it’s only hard for a little while. Soon He reveals why He allowed the hard.  Looking back, I see that the hard was most helpful.

Helpful because closed doors often meant better (oh so much better!!) ones opening.

Helpful because waiting often meant He was working wonderful things behind the scenes.

Helpful because His allowing of the pain was always for a most glorious purpose.

Giving hard thanks is far from fun, but the hard times are often the fruitful times. Just as the farmer must surrender the seed in order to reap the reward, we must suffer to shine.

So whatever you’re going through, whatever closed door you stand staring at with a broken heart, dear friend, ask Him for the grace to say a hard “Thank You” knowing He loves you too much to give you anything but His best. 

  “… the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Job 1:21

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One Response to “Giving Hard Thanks”

  1. Alexis March 3, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    How great that He doesn’t ask of us to give thanks “for” everything. The command is simply “IN”.

    Praying for you and your “everything.” Love ya, girl!!

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