Some days are hard. You wake up and suddenly the rug is jerked out from under your feet. It’s on these days when we’re barely keeping our head above water that we find it hard to be thankful. It’s hard to look a storm in the eye and be grateful for the chaos. During these last few days of November - the month set aside for thankfulness - I want to be thankful for the chaos, the bad, the good, and everything in between.
It’s not always easy to understand why we go through some things. I would be lying if I said I knew why I’ve had to face some of the trials in my life. When the winds of life start blowing, they don’t come with a handbook with explanations. While I may not know the whys and the hows, what I do know is that God never allows anything to come against me that He doesn’t intend to walk through with me. I may not have a manual, but He has a plan. As long as I’m sticking close to Him, I can make it through whatever life may bring.
It’s on the other side of the storm that I find my thankfulness.
It’s hard to be thankful in the storm, but when we get to the other side, we can see God’s hand at work. We can look behind us and say, “Now I understand, God! Thank you for keeping me; thank you for teaching me!” I may not be privy to all of the ways my life has been changed or affected, but I can always look back and see how God has moved in the midst of it all.
Some days my heart and mind may feel faint. I may feel like I can’t go another step, or that I’m ready to give in. It’s during those times that I fall back on a saying that my friends and family are probably so tired of hearing,
“Rely on what you know, not what you feel.”
I may feel like I’m too weak or tired to keep going forward. I may feel like God has forgotten about me and left me to fend for myself in the middle of life’s messes. I may feel like this is the time to quit or turn back. But what do I know? I know that God is my refuge and my strength. I know that God is faithful to His children. I know that I have never seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging for bread. I know that a bad day on God’s side is better than a lifetime trying to make it on my own in this world.
I may not understand the storm, but I know there is a purpose and a reason. I know that God only has good in store for me, and He wants to teach me and help me grow in Him. The storm and craziness of life may be what draws me closer to Him. It may coax me out of my comfort zone and into a deeper level of faith. Whatever the cause, I can be thankful knowing that every step I take, when taken with prayer and faith, are ordained by God. My life has a purpose in Him, and He has a plan for me.
The holiday season brings its own blend of heartache and chaos. Whatever road you find yourself on or storm you find yourself fighting through, rely on what you know, friend, not what you feel. Know that God is right there with you, fighting alongside you. He’s taking every step with you and He won’t leave you. Dig deep and remember that’s something to be thankful for.