Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What I'm Thankful For Might Surprise You

I've been thinking for a few weeks now about what I'm really thankful for. There's all the usual stuff. The everyday things. The answers that everyone expects to hear.

I asked my girls tonight what they were most thankful for this year. For my 5 year old, it's very temporal. Things she experienced today or in the past week that she's thankful for. My 8 year old answered with the Bible. And everything God made. My 10 year old said her family and then other 'things' that are very important to her and any other 10 year old.

I've really been examining this year of my life and trying to peel back the surface things I'm very thankful for, but I wanted to get down to what I'm really the most thankful for from this year 2013.

So much has happened over the course of this year. So many milestones, joyous things and also many trials. I've been thinking long and hard over these things and realized what I am most thankful for at this time in my life.

I'm thankful for the trials.

They're hard.

Sometimes to the point that I think I'm going to lose my mind, but lose my temper instead.

Tears are shed and moments of doubt creep in from time to time.
Confusion and times when my perspective is dimmed.

'Why is this happening?' 'What in the world is going on here?' are things I've demanded answers to.

And the answers I'm looking for don't come.

But over the past few months I've come to the conclusion I've known for awhile: I don't have to have the answers. All I need is to trust the One Who does have all the answers. God. My God.

But trust isn't easy if you don't know the one you're trying to put your trust in.

There are many spots on my timeline that I can look back on and remember God's faithfulness to me. Times that I thought I knew best yet in His lovingkindness He kept me from making choices that weren't His best for me.
Times of heartbreak that He healed. Financial needs that He provided. Sin that was and is forgiven.

I can trust Him.

He proves it over and over again.

These trials I face are nothing to God. He already sees the end. And He knows the path I need to take. He knows the time frame. He has a purpose for it.

But He also knows the pain I may experience in each trial. The tears I'll shed. The questions I want to ask before I even ask them. He understands. {Psalm 103:14}

And in the midst of the trial He'll still be there. {Nahum 1:7} Patiently guiding. Holding my hand so that my footsteps slip not. {Psalm 17:5}

Trials are like a refining fire. They help to bring to surface the worthless parts, the things that hold us back from fully trusting and knowing God. Those things that blind our eyes from really seeing God. Trials reveal things we wouldn't otherwise acknowledge.

I need Him. Only Him.

And when I acknowledge Him and my need of Him, I am able to weather the storm with joy knowing that it is all for my good because He is good even when life is hard. {Psalm 145:9}

That's what I'm most thankful for this year. And if you're going through trials of your own and want to understand more of what I'm talking about, go here to download or listen to this series entitled Seeing Through Suffering and Pain - a study of the book of Job. It will encourage you and help you in your trials. It has been a huge blessing to me.

What are you most thankful for this year?

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving Day!
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