Monday, November 28, 2011

When gratitude is hard


I’ve been writing about it all month.
It’s one thing to talk about gratitude.

And write about thanksgiving.

And blog about having a grateful heart.

It’s another thing to live it out.

Who isn’t grateful when the sun shines on our lives and the blessings pour down?
But as I shared a few weeks ago:
"Gratitude, not remorse, should come to be the defining sentiment of your God's child and someone who has been the undeserved recipient of His grace, gratitude, whatever your circumstance, is warranted." - Brad Stetson

A couple weeks ago Ryan was pursued by a company he had previously interviewed with. Two recruiters contacted him and he had multiple interviews/calls with them both. Then he had an in-person interview. Then we waited. All week. And the following week all through Thanksgiving.

Then we got the call. “They are not going to pursue you any further."

I was at work when Ryan called me to tell me and I had to hold back the tears.

Gratitude was not my first emotion.

I was angry. And hurt. And frustrated.

I had allowed myself to get on that ridiculous roller coaster ride of emotions and, once again, we were disappointed.
And because my husband is hurt and discouraged, it makes it even harder. And I can’t make it better.

Luci Swindoll says, Wherever you are now is God’s provision, not His punishment. Celebrate this moment and try very hard to do it with conscious gratitude.”

Celebrate this moment? 

That is not what my fleshly body wants to do.

I am weary of this constant battle of ingratitude fighting gratitude. Anger fighting peace. Discouragement fighting hope.

But in the midst of the heaviness of this last rejection, and despite the weight of this last ‘no,’ there is a still, small reminder that my thanks and gratitude cannot be based on the gifts given to me by the giver.

My gratitude – if it is truly gratitude – is dependent solely on the giver for who He is, not what He gives.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that we are running a race. A race that encourages us to get back up after we’ve fallen. Believing in the goodness of the One who has called us. Running with hope and passion and courage and faith.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”--2 Timothy 4:7

This passage challenges us to not only fight the good fight and finish the race, but to keep the faith when the race seems endless and our bodies are weary.

I am so grateful I can look around and see others running their races – with faith and determination and courage.

Ryan’s aunt and uncle who both were diagnosed with cancer in the past 12 months are running a really really hard race. A friend who struggled with serious health issues this past year and continually kept her eyes on Jesus has run a very challenging race. Another friend who desperately loves Jesus, but is married to someone who does not is faithfully running every day.

We all run races. We all get weary. The only difference is running with faith or giving in to the ingratitude that we're desperately fighting every day.
Day 28: God I am thankful that you don't change. That even when our future is unknown and the battle is long, you are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I praise you that your grace is sufficient and your mercies are new every day. Help us to maintain hearts of thankfulness in the midst of this journey.

1 comment:

cybil said...

Wishing you loads of peace and joy directly from our Lord!
This is not an easy time for you!
But God will provide and HE will surprise you!!!
Warm regards