Giving thanks in all circumstances, or similar wording, is what the Bible records the Apostle Paul to have said to the Thessalonian people. ((1 Thess. 5:17)
Like many other people, off and on over the years, I have struggled with that scripture.
Thanks for the bad as well as the good?
Is that what it means?
Well, as the fourth anniversary of my husband’s death approaches I have been thinking on that scripture. Does it mean – give thanks for the things that go wrong, or does it mean to give thanks regardless of the situation? Now, I believe the latter, and there is a difference.
True, this only works if you have faith in God, so if you do have faith – do you trust God to bring you through it, or out of it?
I did not know how I would survive without my husband/best friend/supporter/encourager. In those dark days there was little support. Oh, yes, there was some, but as I was finding out now it had happened to me, all those words of sympathy I had offered others, really had no understanding of the pain of loss being suffered.
What did I give thanks for then?
Probably, that I had made it through another hour.
Over these long four years I have given thanks for the privilege of my husband’s gift of love to me. A precious gift.
Sometimes there is a tear that escapes. That only means there was a good memory there. I can give thanks for those also.
Did I give thanks when his son died? No, and neither did he. We muddled through somehow. Although it was a dark and horrifying place we had each other, and we leant on each other. What was there to give thanks about in that situation? That we made it through together, and with a stronger relationship. Through voluntary work with The Compassionate Friends we discovered we were the exception rather than the rule. A great many other couples separated when a child died.
Looking back at the many trials and disappointments I can see where benefits have happened because of a circumstance I did not like at the time, and certainly did not see any benefit in, at the time. This is why I believe that TRUST is the key. I might not see a purpose now but I have to trust that there is one.