Thankfulness, when posited as discipline to improve in, seems easily attainable and almost like something we can just re-initiate in our lives. Maybe you just forgot to be aware of the blessings in your life, in the mundane, day-to-day. But what happens when you enter into the unknown? When you get hit by an intense curveball that trips you up and thrusts the goals you are “working on” to the wayside? Now, you’re just trying to get by, day-to-day, without losing hope and slipping off into the abyss of darkness that the world is seemingly drawing you toward.
You lose a job. You lose a loved one. You lose your health. Your plans fall apart. Your life falls apart. Any semblance of stability, trajectory, or progress is scrapped, and you are left feeling the void of a cruel world pulling anything good from your life. God seems to have bowed out—after all, you’re probably too far astray or too messy for Him anyway. Family seems to be too distant or just lacking in understanding or capacity to help. Job was there—check out Job 30:16-26. Verse 26 gives us a good synopsis: “So I looked for good, but evil came instead. I waited for the light, but darkness fell.”
Sometimes our lost, broken, corrupted world rears its ugly head, and like Job, you feel like when you try so hard to do the right things, you’re rewarded with darkness. How are we thankful then? Talk about a challenge. This is no longer a practice in working through something we may have forgotten, like remembering to be thankful when it’s easy. Nothing is easy right now—why should I have to be thankful? This is the rubber meeting the road of thankfulness in all circumstances.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20, ESV). Have you been there? So desperate and without direction? The ability to practice thankfulness in these scenarios is often built from practice done in advance. Yesterday, we discussed the story in Matthew 7 about building your house on rock rather than sand. I believe that when we practice continual joy, prayer, and thankfulness, we are working towards building our house on rock, a house not easily shaken by the storm. Practice this week on preparing for the storm, and ask for God to partner with you in that effort.
Pray today that when the storm comes, the Lord will be there with you in it and guide you through. Ask for Him to show areas where you can start building on the rock of His truth to make the storm less destructive.