I remember a phrase that I learned when I was reading about a believer who was losing his wife to cancer. He said that God taking her was a severe mercy. It was severe in that God took her, but it was a mercy in that He spared her further agony and suffering.
So much of what God does in our lives can seem (possibly to a lesser degree) like a severe mercy. He denies us the very longing of our heart and makes us wait for relief from pain and suffering. So many of the petitions we send upward seem to reach a deaf ear. Or sometimes, God says no.
But in that moment, do we trust God’s heart more than God’s hand? Do we trust what we know of God more than what we see of God? Can we be like Job who said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:20)?
If all God did was to save me from my sin and to eternal life and didn’t do one more solitary thing for me, that would be far more than I deserve. But God is eternally faithful, an ever present help, and a refuge in times of trouble. He’s about more than giving me what I can hold in my hands. He’s about giving me Himself.
I am grateful, no matter what. Even if it’s my mouth saying the words until my heart and soul believe, I will give thanks. I will utter a doxology in the dark because I know the light is coming.