I’ve been bombarded by bad news lately. One friend’s fiance died in his late thirties, another friend’s husband died in his early fifties. One friend’s mother is dying, another’s father passed away.
This is a just partial list, but it’s enough.
How easy it would be to admit appreciation that none of this is happening to me personally. It’s true, I am thankful. But if that’s the only thing I can be thankful for during such times, it’s a cheap and selfish thanksgiving.
Once I sit and list everything I’m thankful for in spite of the bad news, I discover at the center of all is God. I’m thankful His Son conquered death. Thankful for His mercy and grace. Thankful I had the privilege to know most of the people listed above and was given the privilege to comfort and aid many of those they left behind.
And thankful that even though I don’t understand some of the things happening to my friends, God does.
In times like these, the view of “all things working together for good for those who love the Lord” is dim, a pin-light in a long tunnel, an aluminum lining on an ebony cloud. My faith is often weak in spite of the strength I try to portray to those who need me. I’m thankful that the mustard-seed-sized faith I have is sufficient for His use.
Of course, come November 25 I’m going to be thankful to sit with my extended family and demolish a turkey, thankful we’re all safe and sound and insulated for the moment from the troubles other face. Because all it takes is one diagnosis, one drunk driver, one calling home of someone we all love to change the peace we enjoy.
But the Prince of Peace grants peace even in the hard times if we let Him. This amazes me. And for this I’m most thankful.