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It’s All Grace

I heard the questions our pastor posed, “What is something difficult in your life? Have you thanked God for it?” Immediately, I thought of my son’s death by suicide, and just as quickly concluded that I could never thank God for that. It would be many times more difficult than thanking Him for other hard circumstances such as my rheumatoid arthritis--which I have done. But partly that’s because I can see positive things that have come from the arthritis and I primarily bear the pain myself. But his death is different. I thought, What about him?

In fact about a year earlier, I had written in my journal, “I can thank God for who He is, but not for this situation and don’t think I’ll ever be able to.”

But as I continued to listen to the message, it occurred to me that God could give me the grace to thank Him, by faith. I thought I needed to have the emotion of gratefulness. Thanking Him by faith was a new idea to me. Finally, I decided that, by His grace and by faith, I would thank Him and I did. That simple act represented a mammoth step in my healing and even brought a measure of relief from the intense pain.

This Thanksgiving season I am drawing on God’s grace, and by faith, am thanking Him for the hard things in my life. How about you?

(adapted from a section in Out of the Storm … Peace by Lynelle Watford)

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