What do you think of when you hear the word “thanksgiving”? The majority of the time, the holiday comes to mind (capital T). When considering the meaning of the word, giving thanks is what came to me. At times when all is going well in our lives, that is usually an easy practice. It’s when we are struggling that it becomes challenging.
How do we live out the Bible verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:18? (give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.) First of all, I want to point out that this does NOT say, FOR all circumstances, but IN all circumstances. There is a big difference. When we are going through trials, God doesn’t expect us to thank him for the trial, but to express praise and thanksgiving while going through it. We can be grateful that He is beside us, even carrying us in our hurt. Also, because we are being refined and we are becoming more like Him when dealing with hardships.
One especially difficult struggle is family issues. We love our family and as mothers and wives, have devoted ourselves and poured much of ourselves into our husbands and children. When marriages begin crumbling and kids grow up to be prodigals, our faith is tested.
As the Mom of a prodigal daughter, I experienced first-hand the doubts, fears, anxiety, along with a few other emotions that come with facing such a reality. She was on a self-destructive path and I was powerless to stop it. Initially, I was broken hearted and soon became self-consumed with the issue. The enemy had me believing it was up to me to “fix” her and get her back on the straight and narrow path. Finally, after many heart-to-heart talks with the Lord and digging into the truth of His Word, I surrendered my daughter and the results of her situation to her Creator. It’s difficult to describe the complete peace that washed over me. My burden was lifted and it was so freeing! Did the circumstances immediately change? Absolutely not, but I began believing God’s promise that He who began a good work in my daughter would complete it (Philippians 1:6) and His love for her was so much deeper than mine could ever be. Did I thank God for the mess my daughter was in? No I did not, but I certainly thanked Him in that tumultuous time. I praised our Almighty Father for never leaving or forsaking us, for bringing beauty out of ashes and for making all things beautiful in His time. He is indeed a good, good Father and if we keep our eyes on Him instead of our circumstances, we are able.
About the Author: Jackie Doubet is the daughter of the King, wife of a godly husband, and Mom of two adult blessings. She is a librarian assistant and her passion is loving and encouraging others!