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Thanksgiving – Don’t Really Feel Like It?

What about giving thanks when our hearts are aching — when we’ve hit that deep place of despair, and we drag out of bed each day doing our best to be brave and strong?

Is that you? Or someone you know?

This morning I thought of you, and I thought of a critical time when I was there — hurting so much I disguised the pain with activity and a smile. In the private times of those days, though, the smile would fade, and I would flop on my bed trying to regroup for the next day… and the next.

I knew verses in the Bible about how we’re to give thanks in every situation. I’d done that before with amazing results as I turned my problems over to my Creator. This was different. I hurt so much — the stress was so painful — that when I tried to say “thank you” to the One who always fixed things, the words felt like ping-pong balls bouncing around in my soul.

Then I found it. A scripture I’d never read. Somehow these words stopped the ping-pong balls and lit the fire of hope. Have you read this before?

Psalm 50:23 (NLT)

“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

I know. It’s another verse about giving thanks but look closely. When we give thanks sacrificially — when God knows it doesn’t make sense to us and we sure don’t feel like it — He recognizes we are expressing trust that, indeed, He is GOD. He knows we’re holding onto the hope that nothing is impossible for Him. This act alone gets God’s attention. Will we then follow His ways as we navigate through our crises? That’s all He asks, and it activates His saving response. How He exactly does that for each of us is up to Him, but if He can do something like, I don’t know, create the universe — He can carry us through and heal our pain.

Will you choose THANKFULness this Thanksgiving? God will hear you. He loves you. He’ll respond.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,
    and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.”

(Psalm 34:18  NCV)