“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Because I was just around the corner from age 46 when I said “I do,” I grieved the death of my fairy-tale family. The chance of having babies was next to nil, and even though I was submitted to God’s plan, I still experienced a season of grief-filled tears. One afternoon I visited a Christian counselor. I shared my story with her and then asked, “How do I keep from getting stuck in grief?”
She said one word that has stayed with me: “Gratitude.”
Ah, yes. Gratitude.
Gratitude enables us to see past the fog of our current circumstances to raise our gaze from the here and now to eternity. And practicing gratitude isn’t just good because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy. It’s not even good because it’s a distinguishing mark of a faithful Christ follower. Gratitude can literally be the difference between internal life and death, between thriving in life as Christ promises we can and just surviving.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
But practicing gratitude doesn’t mean you have to deny the pain of your losses and say “I’m so glad my story turned out like it did.” It also doesn’t mean you have to say you are glad bad things happened. But it does mean you make peace with what happened. It means you are able to say, “Lord, I may not have chosen this path, but I trust You, and I know I am never out of Your loving hands. I believe You are working everything out for my good and Your glory, and I surrender to You.”
Living with a grateful heart means you accept God is sovereignly weaving your story together even when it involves loss.
Then, when you choose gratitude, you can look to the future in hope. Rather than asking, “Why did this happen to me?” you can ask, “Lord, what do You want to do with my life now?”
That’s the power of gratitude. It’s redemptive, powerful, and life-changing.
How can you actively practice gratitude today despite your losses?
- - - - - - -
This Bible reading plan is adapted from Two Minutes in the Bible for Women by Shana Schutte and Boyd Bailey. For more encouragement to live in God's wisdom, learn more here: https://amzn.to/2D20zoU