It always amazes me when a friend or family member shows an attitude of gratitude when they are going through the kind of hellish nightmare that would make most of us hide under the covers, griping, groaning and whimpering. These people face cancer and other dire medical prognoses… lose everything they own in a fire the day before Christmas… suffer through stock market crashes that take their entire life savings… lose a child, a best friend, or a spouse. They suffer unimaginable loss, and yet, in the midst of their grief, they’re able to be thankful for what they do have, be glad that things aren’t worse, and be grateful for the support of their friends and family, even strangers…
It’s inspirational, mysterious, almost unimaginable at times, to hear thoughts and words of gratitude spoken in the midst of tragedy.
Others of us, when facing circumstances not half as dire or heartbreaking, spew bitter recriminations at God, curse our fowl luck, and complain about our misfortune to everyone within earshot.
What makes the difference? What unfathomable source enables people to give thanks even when awful things are happening?
I’ve learned that at least some of the time, the answer lies in a person’s faith. Believing that all things work together for good, in God’s time, seems to allow people to believe that better things are ahead for those who wait, or at the very least, that God will give them the grace to endure whatever in happening in their lives . I’ve always found it irritating when people spew platitudes, but I can’t deny that I have seen this kind of true, life-altering faith in action on several recent occasions. Instead of asking, “why me?”, these people seem to have a wellspring of inner peace and true joy that supersedes whatever tragic circumstances befalls them. These people are constantly looking up, expecting to see a rainbow.
I’m not talking about Eeyore-ish people who moan, “Such is life”, and begrudgingly accept their fates, pessimists who figured their luck would run out from day one, folks who have always, subconsciously been waiting for the other shoe to fall. I’m talking about people who have found a lasting joy that is irrespective of their circumstances. These people aren’t stupid, naive or oblivious, so I have to assume that whatever or whomever is empowering them to feel peace in the midst of sorrow is real, tangible, and life-changing.
Although I’ve always been a bit of an Eeyore, I am blessed to have family and friends who love me, and more importantly, a God and Savior who will always be at my side. I hope on this special day of Thanksgiving, and in the days to come – whatever they hold – that I can be a person who feels an attitude of gratitude for all that I have, has a faith that sustains me through both good and bad times, and is able to draw on an inner peace that inspires others as I have been inspired.
God is in Every Tomorrow (Author unknown)
God is in every tomorrow,
Therefore I live for today;
Certain of finding at sunrise
Guidance and strength for the day,
Power for each moment of weakness,
Hope for each moment of pain
Comfort for every sorrow,
Sunshine and joy after rain.
God is in every tomorrow,
Planning for you and for me,
Even in the dark I will follow,
Trust where my eyes cannot see,
Stilled by His promise of blessing,
Soothed by the touch of His hand,
Confident in His protection,
Knowing my life-path is planned.