Yesterday we talked about being thankful "in" all things, not necessarily "for" all things. And I will be the first to acknowledge that this is easier said than done.
For those of you who do not follow the bouncing spot around here very often, I have been staying at my son's house while he recovers from a very tough surgery.
Once a week we go to the wound clinic where the doctor assesses his progress. This past week, as the nurse worked on K.'s surgical dressing, she chatted merrily away and finally got around to the upcoming holiday.
"So what are you doing for Thanksgiving? Are you going anywhere?" she asked us.
I saw K.'s muscles tense up, but he didn't say a word. I sat there mortified and mystified. This woman is an intelligent, hard working professional. She cannot be stupid; but what in the world was the matter with her? We have been coming here every week for four months, via medical transport with K. laid out on a gurney, like a turkey on a platter, and she can ask this?
I tried to smile and stammered, "Well, I will be cooking dinner at K.'s house, as he hasn't been going too many places lately." She finally realized what she had said, and then laughed it off.
I am sometimes, too often quite frankly, amazed at the density people display when dealing with another person's long term challenge. It is as though they somehow think the problem "comes and goes." It doesn't. It is there - every day - every hour - every minute.
If you have a tough challenge in your life right now, you know exactly what I mean. You eat, you try to get some sleep, work when you must, and every waking moment in between all those necessary life activities you are thinking about, sometimes fretting over, wrestling with..."what if this"..."what about that"..."what more can I do?".
So how do you get through it, whatever your particular challenge happens to be? For me, it is by remembering that the One who knows me best and loves me most is also there, every day - every hour- every minute. And He does not forget our circumstances, does not lose sight of the details of what we are dealing with moment by moment.
He can enable us to be thankful, regardless, provided we allow Him to do so. In fact, His word clearly tells us that we should do so. Why? Not because He needs our gratitude, although He blesses it; but rather because we need to be thankful in order to maintain our clear flow of communion with Him. Gratitude keeps the pipeline clear and free flowing.
So what are we doing for Thanksgiving? I am baking a small ham, and also a turkey roast (not the whole turkey) as there will only be three of us - me, K. and the LOC*. (*Lovable Old Coot) But when we bow our heads to say grace, I will be truly thankful in my heart for the One who gives us the gift of gratitude.
Hope your Thanksgiving is full of thanks-giving. Until next time ... Marsha
* * * * *
"Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:16 - 18 NIV