By Cathie Ostapchuk
In the middle of the hardest days, a ‘thank you’ is the farthest word from my lips. It’s my struggle and it’s your struggle to express gratitude when, in reality, you are not all that grateful. In those moments, in the dark, even your whispered, questioning ‘thank-you God, I think?’ reaches heaven with the speed and accuracy of a well-released arrow from a seasoned archer’s hands. The ‘thank you’s’ that come from good days, good times, good friends, and good opportunities are not worth half their weight in gold compared to your feebly-spoken, faith-filled whispers of gratitude.
Consider the following: a ‘thank you’ in the suffering; a ‘thank you’ when the ashes have not yet been transformed into beauty; a ‘thank you’ when tears cloud the lens of your perspective; a ‘thank you’ even in the midst of hopelessness, when your heart is hoping against all hope that it can be different. These are the ‘thank-you’s’ of destiny. The ‘thank you in spite of my circumstances’ rather than the ‘thank you because of my circumstances,’ propels you into your future. Your catalyst is the God who sees you and hears your broken thanks. He loved you and loves you and will keep on loving you in the best and worst of times.
Thank Him for His presence. Thank Him that He has your name inscribed in the palm of His hand. Thank Him that He went to the wall for you. Thank Him that He went to the cross for you, and He would have walked that road to Calvary, even if you were the only girl on earth.
Thank Him for the goodness and mercy that follows you like a banner. Thank Him that there is no place you will go that He has not gone before you. None of the grateful thanks from your lips needs to be dependent on what shadows you currently fear. Your gratitude can be focused on the One who anoints your head with oil and sets a feast of plenty for you in the presence of your greatest fears. A small, whispered ‘thank you’ multiplies into a horn of plenteous grace that washes over you, from Jesus’ hands.
May He bless you beyond what you can ask or imagine this Thanksgiving, not because of all that is good in your life, but in spite of the brokenness of your life. Your gratitude is based solely on His goodness, not how good things are.
Our grateful hearts are so fickle. Our Thanksgiving ‘thank you’s’ have us reaching to find the external proof that we need to validate them. Our treasure, however is in jars of clay. We are the jars, and our gratitude is expressed for what we carry in our souls; that is the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
Would you join me and say a thank you to God this Canadian Thanksgiving? Whisper it, shout it, write it, declare it – and believe in the dark what God will make possible in the light.
Happy Thanksgiving from Gather Women! We are so grateful for you!