Confusing? Wrong? Let’s see what God’s word has to say:
Ephesians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
As a young mom of a son with special needs, it was hard for me to be thankful for the condition of my son. I wanted him to be “normal” like everyone else seemed to be. I wasn’t outwardly or inwardly angry at God nor did I dislike, hate, or not want to be around others whose children were “normal.” But it wasn’t easy saying “thanks” to God for the many health, behavior, mental, and food issues my son was dealing with and for which I had to care 24/7.
Coming home from an evening with several other families, I remember saying to Joe, “It’s amazing to know the background (of one particular family—that included heavy drug use and drinking) of the parents and to see that they had 3 beautiful, talented, and smart kids. We didn’t do those things and look what happened to our son.” Also knowing the condition of the marriage of this particular family, Joe said to me, “Cindi, imagine if Joey were in that family. He would not get the kind of love and attention he would need. We need to give thanks that we can take care of him … even though we might not be thankful for all the conditions he has.”
Those were life changing words that soothed my heart and became a turning point for how I prayed for our son and how I lived life out daily. No matter how hard situations in Joey’s care were, I knew I could give thanks in the moment, in the caring, in the hardships, even if I wasn’t thankful for them. It was heart-changing for me.
I imagine you have something in your life for which it’s hard to be thankful. Can I challenge you to join me in finding a way to give thanks in the situation? It would be a good exercise this month of Thanksgiving, but also a great exercise for the rest of our lives.