“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives-the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections-that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.
Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God” (Henri Nouwen).
The Bible commands us to give thanks in every circumstance. Note that it does not say to give thanks FOR everything but in everything with the confidence that God is able to work even the worst of things for the best.
So there it is. Give thanks on good days and bad, for the happy and the sad, on the best of days and the worst, and everything in between.
Give thanks that the God of the sunshine is also the God of the rain, that the God of the day is also God of the night, that the God in all joy is also God in all sorrow.
Some of you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. My prayer is that you will find God has been with you from the start and will be with you to the end and beyond. So give thanks, not for the valley, but for God in the valley with you.