November 22, 2021
by Fran Caffey Sandin
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
When devastation touches our lives, responding with a thankful heart becomes a challenge. Everyone has a story. Mine began when our seventeen-month-old, Jeffrey, became ill on a Sunday and died on Thursday. Bacterial meningitis. Everything medically possible had been applied. Many prayers for Jeffrey’s earthly healing remained unanswered, but I know I will see Jeffrey in Heaven.
Years later, we said goodbye to our forty-three-year-old son, Steve, a godly physical therapist who spent his life serving and helping others. He passed away after a fourteen-year struggle with cystic fibrosis and kidney failure. My heart still aches, but I cannot live in constant grief knowing Steve will greet me in Heaven.
So, the question becomes: How can we be thankful when grieving such great losses?
I once heard singer Joann Shelton say, “Praise moves me from Complaint Avenue to Thanksgiving Boulevard.” I found the four-lane divided parkway beneficial.
When I think of the apostle, Paul, who endured shipwrecks, beatings, hunger, sleepless nights, imprisonment, and weary days, I marvel that he wrote I Thessalonians 5:18. He did not mean that we thank God for bad things that happen. But we can say, “Dear Lord, even in this heartache, I believe You are working things out for my good and for Your glory.”
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 ESV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Fran Caffey Sandin is a retired nurse, wife, mother, and grandmother in Greenville, Texas. She has authored See You Later, Jeffrey, and Touching the Clouds: True Stories to Strengthen Your Faith. This devotional is an excerpt from her new book, HOPE on the Way, DEVOTIONS to Go, published by Roaring Lambs Ministries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For more information visit Fran’s website: www.fransandin.com.
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