With a grateful heart, I can come to the thanksgiving banquet and rejoice in His goodness to me and my family... ...But I was reminded the other day that being thankful is a choice. It is easy to praise and thank God when, for the most part everything is going so well in our lives. It is far more difficult, but I would say far more honouring to God, when we can praise Him and give thanks to Him when life is frought with challenges and struggle.
I read a letter from a woman in our church who has probably had one of the most challenging years of her life. Her husband will not be with her this Thanksgiving. She has had financial burdens and has struggled with house and car repairs on her own. She admits that many times she has wept before the Lord and spent many a sleepless night, overwhelmed at times by the stress, the pain and heartache, but she says, 'Through all the trials and tribulations of this past year GOD IS SO GOOD'. She can praise Him wholeheartedly. She has chosen to be "thankful in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5: 18).
Our Sunday School teacher asked us, "Are you a "whiner" or a "shiner" based on Philippians 2: 14-16 "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."
As we discussed the passage at length, I couldn't help but think about this precious woman and the heartfelt letter of praise she wrote. She has gone through so much upheaval this past year but still manages to "shine" in the face of adversity.
No matter what your circumstance may be at this time, choose to be thankful. "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:19- 20)