By Melissa McLaughlin
Have you ever had one of those days when things went from bad to worse?
I recall the time we went camping only to discover, hour by hour, the items we forgot to pack. After setting up the tent, which always seemed to bring forth an argument about which pole goes where, we started to cook dinner and realized we had not packed a spatula to turn the hamburgers over the fire pit or remove from the fire when done. This would be an interesting dinner. When it was time for bed we realized we had not packed pillows or sleeping bags. Rolled up jeans underneath your head can only do so much. The list went on! That poorly planned trip is an amusing memory now, but at the time, each part of the trip yielded a new frustration.
Though this is a lighthearted example, our real life experiences can be painful, heartbreaking and life-altering.
The job loss.
The terminal illness.
The relationship collapse.
The death of a loved one.
The violence in our land.
The catastrophic storm.
The list goes on.
How can we be thankful for such things? Yes, we can always thank God for the circumstances that draw us closer to Him. But sometimes that is the only redeeming element to be found.
If we can’t give thanks to God for all things, how can we give thanks to God IN all things?
But a flash
And the weariness of this world
Has chipped another shard
From my tattered, worn
How I long for a glance
A moment of grace
A tender glimmer
the tears fall
the blood trickles
the heart wilts
Through hazy thick fog
A brightness beams
My eyes fix on One
One who knows
One who sees
One who walked these dusty roads
and felt this pulsing pain
One who knows my darkest places
One who carries my deepest evil
One who loves me still
Who hoisted my sin-soaked burden
And heaved it onto His own whip-lashed back
though the way grows dreary
though the world grows thin
though my steps may falter
and life ebbs away
The One who made all things
Makes all things new!
The Potter’s hands are shaping still
Though black be the shadows
And dawn seems lost
The Light of all Light has come!
We may find it difficult to give thanks FOR all things,
Yet because of Jesus we can give thanks IN all things!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18