Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
There is such a thing as a time line of our lives. There are markers of births and deaths, triumphs and failures, soaring high and crawling low. Adventures and journeys that make us who we are. You knew the depth of the joy and of the pain each of us would experience in this life and you still call us to be thankful in everything.
As my dear friend Mike said today, you just can’t stop in the middle of the journey. No matter how hard or painful the walk. You are not perfected until you reach the finish line. Mike shares with me that he doesn’t stop because he wants to be strengthened through his pain and suffering. He doesn’t stop because he desires to be complete in every way Jesus would have him be complete. He surrenders his thoughts of giving up to his savior and walks for another day. Mike is thankful. I can tell by both the light and tears that flow from his eyes when I talk with my friend.
My dear friend Megan and I, over a year ago, sat on a bench. Her tears fell as she reached deep to understand where God had her and why. She took a certain amount of responsibility for the valley and pressed on. Megan said to me just the other day, AbbyA, isn’t true that our darkest moments are really our blessings? We agreed that it is in the blinded darkness that you know the true love of your God. And because of that knowledge, Megan is thankful. I can tell by both the light and tears that flow from her eyes when I talk with my friend.
My daddy, who I will miss until the day I jump into his arms in heaven, ran the race in pain and suffering for more than six years. While he must have had many questions for his God, he wrapped his inner hope around a promise that God would never leave or forsake him. And as I watched him walk home to heaven, I believe that his strong faith grew in leaps and bounds as he saw and tasted that His promises were true. I know my dad was thankful in his life because I could see the spiritual peace that flowed from his inner being.
Lord, I want to thank you because you knew the depth of the joy and of the pain each of us would experience in this life. You knew that there was only one remedy for both the valleys and mountain tops. The remedy is thankfulness. Your remedy is not without substance. The substance of thankfulness is your love. Love that never ends; always grows deeper; and always gives hope.
AbbyA, Bindu and JMathis