When You Don't Feel Thankful
The day after Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite days around our house. We spend a lazy morning loafing around in pajamas and slowly eating breakfast until we eventually get ready to head out to the local tree farm. Then we walk through rows upon rows of trees until we finally decide on the "perfect" tree to take home.
And while we put up our Christmas tree and strung on lights and listened to cheery Christmas music, this year my heart felt out of place with the bright and sparkling surroundings.
As we opened up the boxes of ornaments and the kids reminisced about when they had made this one or gotten that one, we also put up an ornament for Solomon. It should have been his first Christmas. He should have been crawling around, tearing ornaments off the low hanging branches as we put up the tree and finding random bits of Thanksgiving leftovers still on the floor.
And he wasn’t.
Yes, I still was surrounded by so many other things to be thankful for. But sometimes in the midst of things, it's simply hard to FEEL that way.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar position this season. You’ve been hoping and waiting and praying for a relationship to work out, and you’re still left waiting. Your home life looks nothing like the picture perfect ideal of Christmas that you’d love to have (welcome to the club!). Or maybe you’ve recently discovered the health issues you were experiencing aren’t as trivial as what you’d imagined, and the future isn’t looking so bright.
And yet, in all of this, God admonishes us that, “ In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
This verse has always baffled me. In ALL things?
But I think I’m finally beginning to understand that verse. I don’t FEEL thankful. And it’s ok if you don’t feel grateful for the broken things in your life, either.
God isn’t admonishing me to feel happy or joyous that my son wasn’t here. He’s asking me to focus on those things that I do have to be thankful for. To choose to find good.
Even when emotions are running high, we can choose to be thankful. To give thanks as an act of worship to the One who created this day and choose us for it, knowing that, “This is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
So whatever the trial is you’re facing today, I hope that you find something that you can choose to be thankful about. Even when life feels difficult, you are still in His plan.
He’s got this.