The psalms are filled with praise and thanksgiving – but also despair.
Psalm 118:1-29 is a prayer of thanksgiving for victory in David’s life, however in between the lines of the first to the twenty-ninth verses there are things that didn’t always echo victory.
It’s the same in-between the lines of our lives.
David didn’t simply write about the good. He also recorded the not-so-good. For then and for now – for him and for us.
The Bible tells us to give thanks in all things, in every circumstance because it’s the will of God. Although that can be difficult when circumstances say otherwise. Thanksgiving is the time we focus on gratitude, but there are those who are overwhelmed with darkness and find it hard to do. They may be experiencing sickness, addiction, loss, and heart-shattering happenings in the world and in their own. So how are we to give thanks in the dark?
Like the breaking of bread, life brings versions of brokenness. Crumbs – but often we throw out the food with the crumbs.
So, sometimes we need to gather what’s left.
This time of year causes me to reflect on the wild grace and miracles – things written – names, dates and tear stains marking the margin of my Bible right alongside of David’s words in Psalm 118. I’m reminded of God’s goodness and greatness during critical times in our family, but at the time, interrupted gratitude. Transplants, comas, and near fatal car accidents, the assorted remembrances of November moments that will last a life time in a grateful heart. Because it revealed so much of God.
Read with me the thankful gatherings in Psalm 118 . . .
:5 He will answer and set us free.
:7 we are never alone and He will help us.
:8 we have assurance that the Lord is trustworthy
:17 we can have hope when we face trials.
:24 and this is the day that He has made and we can rejoice in this day!
You may be in a place right now when you just can’t give thanks in all things. I understand. It’s not dishonest to give thanks when we’re not necessarily feeling it, because . . .
Thankfulness is a choice.
If we begin to understand God is sovereign and controls what is happening when life is spinning out –that’s when we can honestly give thanks. Thanksgiving isn’t about the traditional day on the calendar that gets lost in a mix of feasts, football and family drama. It’s about the every-day, the twenty-four hour gift that we won’t get a re-do.
Too soon our table can be altered by loss or separation in some form. Notice the Thanksgiving chairs, those occupied or unoccupied are treasured keepsakes that hold memories. Cherish the moment – the gift of now.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18