We know Thanksgiving is a time to thank God for the blessings in our lives. Our thoughts go immediately to whatever we term "good."
We even learn, as Christians, that we are to thank God IN every circumstance. But do we thank God FOR the circumstance?
It's easy to thank God for the beautiful sunset, our child's recovery, our new car. But what about rain on your wedding day? Your child dies. Your only car is wrecked. Are we honestly supposed to thank God for it?
What we call "good" may not be the same thing God calls good. If He is truly in charge of this world, if He in fact cares for us, if He notices when a sparrow falls from a tree, then our "bad" circumstances are there by His design. He sent them to you! He wasn't a helpless, hand-wringing God who stood by and bit his nails when Satan lambasted your family. He designed it--just for your good!
That is a hard pill to swallow; yet in Ephesians, Paul instructs his followers to thank God FOR everything that happened to them.
Because there is a freedom in that. By the act of thanksgiving, we are admitting to ourselves that God is ultimately in charge of it all and whatever we are going through was lovingly sent as a gift to us, to enable us to become more like Christ.
Nothing more humbling than to fall flat on our faces and cry out to God for mercy. And that is right where God wants us. It is only then, He can teach us.
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