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

Earthen heart


How I long for a glance

A moment of grace

A tender glimmer

A lifting


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

Additional Resources:

Will You Take the Paper Gratitude Challenge? By Melissa McLaughlin

Powerful Prayer Tool – Praising Over Pleading By Melissa McLaughlin

The Joy of Brokenhearted Praise By Melissa McLaughlin