Daily Delight

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Earlier this week, I sat with a group of deeply brokenhearted people – all grieving the recent deaths of loved ones. For each of them, this year’s Thanksgiving meal will have an empty chair, a reminder of their loss. My heart aches for these folks. I remember clearly the first Thanksgiving after our son’s death 14 years ago and the many emotions of that day.

The Bible has much to say to us regarding our posture of heart in good and challenging times. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV). Thanksgiving is a time that focuses our hearts on the Giver of all good things. We give thanks because we ultimately recognize that God is good. His faithful love and grace that sustains should cause us to overflow with thanksgiving daily…not just one day a year. Ann Voskamp writes, “We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace.

While there was a very deep sadness that first Thanksgiving without our son, I also experienced (and have each year since) a deeper sense of true thankfulness even through tears. Thankfulness for His gift of our son to us for 17 years, thankfulness of His presence and grace in each moment, and thankfulness for the gift and hope of eternal life.

Are you struggling with a less than perfect Thanksgiving this year? Have you suffered brokenness from the loss of a job, relationship or loved one? I pray that you will look beyond your momentary (in light of eternity) loss and focus instead on your Good, Good Father. Thankfulness is a choice. Your thankful heart, in the midst of great trials, ultimately brings glory to Him. He will always accept your sacrifice of praise…even if it is offered through tears.

{photo: @keeelin_it}

About the Author

Bonnie Arends

Bonnie is a woman who finds her identity and mission in Jesus. She is passionate that others will come to know the Living Hope that she lives in and from each day. Bonnie's life verse is, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).

Bonnie lives 'in the middle of a cornfield' with her farmer husband and son. She enjoys the space and quiet of rural living and is especially thankful for the beautiful sunsets she experiences over the farm's vast pastures.


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