Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Time to Give Thanks

We did not greet this year with our usual festivities.  There was very little giddy baking in the kitchen, few joyful songs, half-hearted reading.  No one seemed to notice.  We have stayed busy with "things," but it is definitely not our normal Thanksgiving.  How could it be?

Part of me wants to wallow in my sorrow.  Crawl in bed and never get up.  The flesh in me wants to be angry at the unfairness of it all.  But is it really unfair?  God has been far better to me than I could ever deserve.  But you'll never catch anyone complaining about that.

It is easy to praise the Lord when things are "perfect."  It's easy to see His goodness when everything is as we think it should be.  It's easy to give thanks when we "feel" like our life is full of blessing.  Can we do it in the hard times?  The times that knock us off our feet?  The times that are impossible to walk through on our own?

As I faced this Thanksgiving, partially balking at giving thanks, God flooded my mind with memories.  Precious memories.  Wonderful things that He has done.  William singing, "He Arose."  William's beautiful prayers, always concerned with how other people were doing, longing for their comfort and healing and happiness.  William's sweet voice in past illnesses, asking me if he was going to Heaven now.  It seems such a dishonor to him to balk at giving thanks when he always had such a thankful heart.

I've been thinking a lot about Job lately.  With my own baby due very soon, of course the verse has been on my mind, "And he said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.'" (Job 1:21)

Wednesday the older girls took all the children traveling around to deliver bread.  When they got home, Abby said that the van was shaking and felt off.  That evening we traveled 90 minutes to visit family.  The van definitely felt different, but nothing major.  About 5 minutes from our destination, the van started shaking uncontrollably and Michael was very concerned.  When it was time to leave he drove straight to a gas station and checked the tires.  One of the back tires had a small hole where air was leaking but was also cracked down the middle, which could not be seen until it was taken off.  I praise the Lord that it didn't blow when the children were out alone.

We fool ourselves into thinking that we have control over situations.  The truth is, we all belong to the Lord.  We are His to give and to take away.  His mercies are new every morning.  And I can truly give thanks with my whole heart when I choose to recount all His wonderful deeds.

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