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Thanksgiving for all things

The lyrics from this song have played through my mind many times lately:

“And I’ll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands,
For You are who You are no matter where I am.
And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand. You never left my side and though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.” (Casting Crowns)

I suppose part of the reason I’m reminded of it is I have sat through two sermons that referenced Philippians 4. The verse that sticks with me is:

“ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Now this might seem strange to some being that we have a national holiday set aside just to give thanks. However, most of our thanks usually are for all of the good things in our lives. We are thankful for our family, our home, job, friends and even our church, and we should rightfully give thanks for these blessings.

I would dare say most of us have little to no problem in giving thanks for the good stuff in our lives.

When the dark times come along or when we must deal with issues that make us uncomfortable, a problem then arises. Our kids sometimes do things we would rather them not to have done, we have a problem with work or our job is a struggle.  We do not handle a situation as we should, or even a family issue arises that we struggle to deal with. While these are many times not heart-wrenching issues, the way we choose to deal with them can make them life-changing events for ourselves and for others around us.

How do we give thanks in these situations?

Going back to Philippians, we give thanks for the situations we are in, and trust God to lead us through and make us stronger for having had the experience. So many other situations that our friends, neighbors and other folks are dealing with would make one wonder how any good could possibly come out of their struggles. But if we trust God, keep our faith and take Him at His word, He will help us to overcome anything that comes our way, making our relationship with Him even stronger.

While I thank Him for so many blessings in my life, I am going to try and look for ways to praise Him when bad situations occur and life throws a really bad curve ball. Perhaps then our praise for all the good things is even greater. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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