“God, I thank you.” Those words seem so easy. They should be on the tip of our tongue at most any moment. We have so much to be thankful for. A day should not go by without taking account of all we are thankful. It should be part of our day to give thanks to the One who provides us more than we ever think, imagine, or realize. And when things are going well, thanks can roll right from our lips. When a prayer is answered the way we asked, we give thanks. When things come out the way we desired, we proclaim thanks. Those are given – or at least should be.
What about the times when thanks is not our first response? What about the times when our prayers are not answered the way we asked, requested and pleaded? What about the times when we didn’t get the test results we wanted? What happens when there is more work to do and it stares us in the face with such force? What do we do when our world, at least as we see it at the time, falls apart? I don’t know about you, but thankfulness is not automatic. Most of the time, thankfulness is the farthest from my thoughts. If I am honest, I often fail to see anything in which to give thanks. I can be mad or angry, disappointed or hurt. But to give thanks? The human in me says no thanks.
And yet, there are still so many things to give thanks for – so many beautiful gifts filling our world. While our own world may seem shattered at the time, this does not mean God has stopped working. It does not mean he is not with us. It does not mean he has forsaken us. It does not mean we are abandoned. There are still so many things in which to give thanks. It takes just a moment to realize all we have been given. It takes just a step back (or two or three) from our perspective. It takes just a word of thanks to help change the view which holds us hostage.
Giving thanks is not always easy or welcome or our first response. Sometimes it is our absolute last response. Today, maybe we make it our only response – God, I thank you. No matter what comes my way, I thank you. No matter what I may face today, I thank you. You are with me and I thank you.
6 Blessed be the Lord,
for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery