Sunday, November 2, 2014

On Being Thankful

Be thankful.
A simple concept, yes?

Scripture tells me to be thankful over and over again...

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Jesus Christ. 
(1 Thessalonians 5.18)

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever! (Psalm 107.1)

Give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5.120)

BUT... let's be honest....Some days it's harder than others.

My husband is self employed, as you may already know. That means when he's not working, there isn't unemployment to tide us over to the next job. Because the past several years have been incredible lean, there is no cushion called savings to fall back on. And let's be even MORE honest. At our age it's really difficult to find a job working for some other company. (Despite his vast experience they want to hire younger people.) Anyway, I am sure you get the picture. No work means no income. And even though we've been there-done that- (too many times to count) and even though God has never abandoned us (and has surprised and blessed us in amazing ways) it is still quite wearing on our morale when the season of no work hits.

This morning I was reminded of this bible verse: All who are weary, come unto me and I (Jesus) will give you rest. I was also reminded to not worry about anything, but by prayer and petition presents my requests to God. In doing this I will experience peace. Peace that exceeds understanding.

That sounds awesome. I am more than willing to release my burdens to Jesus. I am totally ready to surrender my worries and take up His peace. And I do. But, I still can't pay my power bill or my mortgage.

I still have faith that God will provide. I never doubt that He has His best planned for us. I believe that there is always something going on behind the scenes --sometimes things I will never see or know about-- that will prove God was at work. I know all this yet... navigating these curves is exhausting. These tough lean times are depressing... and to some extent,demoralizing.

I don't need to be reminded to be thankful. I am thankful. Thankful that because my husband isn't working right now he has plenty of time to soak in the Word each morning. Time to focus on home projects. Time for giving his all to men's ministry at church.

I don't think you ever get used to the stresses that these kind of times bring. I can paste on my smile and practice an 'attitude of gratitude' or 'fake it till I make it'. I can refuse to worry and refuse to be fearful  and instead be faithful and faith-filled but it doesn't change the reality of our situation. There's this funny little practice here in America called paying our monthly bills and those entities get a little cranky when you don't follow through with payment. And even though I know that this work gap won't last forever, I also know that it will take us twice as long to catch up.

I often wonder what it is I am missing. As in, I should be learning something from this experience and obviously I haven't gotten it yet because here I am taking the class over again.

Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this, since I am sure I am not the only person who is going through a similar situation.

I don't want this to be a negative, whiny self centered post. It does sound like it though. Like I said, I'm just really really weary.

Weary, but still, thankful.

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