A Forsaken Thanksgiving

Sometimes I forget to be thankful. And I don’t mean for the good things. I am quick to thank God for all of His blessings – for the good days, and the overwhelming joy. What I often forget to thank Him for are the bad days, the trying moments and the heartache. But it’s in these moments – these crucial, tenacious moments – that I am most reminded of how depraved I am, and how deep my need for Jesus is. I forget to thank Him for the certainty of His power being made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). I forget to thank Him for the peace that comes with knowing He works all things for our good (Romans 8:28) and for His glory. Too often, I boast only in the good, falling into the tempting misguided promise of satisfaction that this world implores. I fall into the trap of social media’s façade, allowing the pretense of an ever-joyous life to govern my motivations. I am guilty. Guilty of undermining the true power of our righteous King. Guilty of suppressing defeat at the expense of holiness. Guilty of growing content despite God’s paramount call to live “set apart” (Romans 12:2). I am guilty of forsaking the fact that God alone is reason to worship, to sing, to praise, to be filled with joy all the days of my life, even in – especially in – the moments of unnerving tribulation. I am guilty of forgetting the fact that answered prayer isn’t always good news. I am guilty of seeking the approval of this world, discrediting my holy identity. And I am ashamed.

But God. But God is enough. Enough to fulfill the ache of an empty heart, to rid of the void that comes with despair, to offer a kind of peace so deep that the faintest taste radically changes who you are. God’s promise of provision washes away the burden of life’s adversity. It fills every corner, eradicating the power of weariness, and relieving the weight of desolation. The revelation of God’s truth is powerful, and I forget to be filled with thankfulness for the perpetual capacity it has.

So today, on the eve of, Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the bad days. For the trials, the tribulations, and the sufferings. I am thankful for the opportunity they present to cling to our Savior, in whom we find rest; for the opportunity to share the love, peace, and power of Christ. I am thankful for God’s abundant grace, and for His unending forgiveness. I am thankful for His plan, and the fact that it is always far better than anything my finite mind could ever imagine. I am equally as thankful for the times of joy, the moments of rejoicing, and the encouragement of growth. I am thankful for work and for rest. For today – the now – but also for the future, and the mystery of what’s to come. And I pray that not a single day of my life would go by that I forget to thank our precious, powerful, almighty Heavenly Father for all of the abundant riches that he pours out in every moment of every day – both exhilarated and adverse. May the power of Christ’s sacrifice break my selfish heart down to its core and bring me to my knees. May the everlasting majesty of our King shatter the unwarranted promise of fulfillment that has infested our world. May we grow in thankfulness with every impending day, awaiting the glorious moment we are reunited with the one who paid it all.

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
    in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

(Psalm 16)

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