This picture goes with my post Why bother taking hopeful actions.

Why Bother Being Grateful in all Seasons?

It is easy to feel grateful when we get the recognition we’ve been pining for from our employer, when winter finally gives way to the warm sunshine of spring, or the rift between  family members is miraculously resolved. But when the unwanted prevails such as losing our job, weathering another winter storm, or the rift in the family remains a rift in the family, feelings of gratitude are nowhere to be felt or found. 

      Settling Down With Gratitude

Attending an event recently, I saw young mothers with babies in tow reminding me of the days gone by; the baby bearing and child rearing years of my life. 

While my first two pregnancies and deliveries were normal, my third was not. I went full-term only to deliver a still born child. 

To say the least, I wanted to know why. To labor and deliver a live child is a mental, emotional and physical workout. But then there is the wonderful reward of holding a newborn babe in your arms.

But, knowing that my child was already dead and yet also knowing I still had to go through the pain and agony of labor seemed much too cruel. 

More than a year of time went by before my wrestling match with grief gave way to feeling something other than anguish and dumbfoundedness. 

I’d gone to the cemetery to take a look at the headstone we’d purchased for our child and realized I stood amidst many other headstones of babies whose lives, like our little Elliott’s, was short. 

Standing there, in the cemetery that day, and gazing out at all the other headstones which marked the death of a little one, two thoughts entered my mind. First of all, I was not the only one who’d lost a child. Secondly, I realized that God was sovereign and I was not.  

Understanding and accepting that God works in ways far beyond my comprehension paved the way for becoming grateful. I was not thankful for our son’s death nor for the pain I felt, rather, I was grateful that I could finally come to terms with two truths. First, God never left me and secondly, there is a peace that transcends my grasp when I settle down and believe that God knows everything about all things and I do not.   

Why bother being grateful in every season? There will always be trials, difficulties and pain in this life. So much of it is beyond our control. But when things happen, remembering that God is in control and we are not, paves the way for gratitude to find its way to our hearts.

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A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens