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This morning I realized that I forgot Thankful Thursday again!  So instead of TGIF, today I say TGYWTT:  Thank God Yesterday Was Thankful Thursday.

This time I want to thank God for the things I usually think of as negative or unwanted in my life.  I know He uses everything to help us grow, to strengthen us, to keep us humble, to help us remain desperate for Him.  Thanking God even for the awful things you encounter is a way of saying “I trust You, God, and still believe that you’re good.  I believe what you said about causing all things to work together for good.” (Romans 8:28)  Like the Psalmist said in chapter 118, “Thank God because he’s good, because his love never quits.” (The Msg)  I thank God because He’s good and that never changes….so I can always be thankful.

As a follower of Jesus I say that I’m content whatever comes my way because my life belongs to Him and I trust Him.  Can I take it a step further and actually be thankful for the hard stuff that comes my way?  Sometimes I can.  I try to.  I guess that’s what the song means that says “we bring a sacrifice of praise.”  Being thankful can actually feel like sacrifice.   We may not feel thankful but we choose to be.  So here goes…

Thank you, God, for the financial struggles we’ve had pretty much since we got married.  I know a lot of them are my fault, but some have just been from life circumstances.  It definitely makes us dependent on You…probably a lot more than if we had more than enough money all the time.

Thank you, God, for the disease you’ve brought me through.  It enables me to relate to other people facing scary diagnoses and walking the journey back to health and wholeness.

Thank you for the difficulties we’ve had at times while raising our daughters.  I know it has been huge in keeping me on my knees and at your feet, straining to hear words of advice and wisdom from you as we navigate new territory.

It’s hard for me, but thank you for not selling our house in St. Louis.  I’m still hurting over that one, God, but I thank you anyway.  We might have bought a house here if that one sold and so You protected us in that way.  Thank you for the debt we incurred.  I’m not sure why I’m thanking you for that, but I want to be obedient, God.  You give good gifts to your children and I trust You will bring good even out of that.  When You do, that will show just how awesome you are because I hate debt and the financial pressures we’ve had.

Thank you for making us wait so long to find what you have for us to do in the future, for uncertainty.  It’s been miserable at times and sometimes hard to keep trusting but in the persistence to trust we find our faith stronger.

Thank you for this life, with all its problems and pains.  It is still beautiful in so many ways and with you, it is more than just bearable, it’s wonderful.   In being thankful for even the “bad” stuff of life my heart feels washed over with your peace and contentment.  In You I really do have all I need.  OH, and thank you for allowing me to come to you honestly, baring my heart to One who already sees but lets me pour it out anyway.  If I didn’t have that relationship with You I don’t know what I would do.

Thank God no matter what happens.  I Thessalonians 5:16  The Msg