No, Thank You.
I was raised in a southern-style home. Manners were a big deal growing up. Saying “Yes,” without a “Ma’am or sir” following it was a surefire way to get yourself in trouble. Saying “Please and thank you” was also necessary.
This week is Thanksgiving. It is a time for families and friends to gather around a table and break bread while sharing their gratefulness for what and who they have. But what about the ones who are hurting, and lost, and just downright don’t feel very thankful in their current season? What do you do when you are indeed grateful in many regards, but you are also wishing you could push the pain away along with that third helping of turkey and stuffing? What do you do when you are handed a cup of suffering and commanded to drink it?
Unfortunately, in those seasons of sorrow, “No, thank you” is not an option that makes it all go away. Saying “No,” even politely, will not make it all disappear. The truth is, we are willing to praise God on the mountain when we are reaping benefits and blessings. However, we are not quick to show gratitude when faced with circumstances we do not like.
There is generally not a “Thank you” in response to grief and loss. There also is rarely a “Thank you” said to a boss when you are let go, or to a college when they send a rejection letter. No thank yous are said after your heart is broken or your friends betray you. Hurtful happenstances are not times humans think to thank the one provoking the pain, much less give God thanks in the middle of it. But what if we have it all wrong? Perhaps even in those low-down, rotten-feeling, unexplainably awful situations, we should still give thanks. No, thank you is not circumstantial, it should be a lifestyle, even when the road gets hard. It all serves a purpose. Be thankful in the tough times, and in the good times. Be thankful when it rains, and when the sun is shining. Give thanks when you feel like it, and even when you don’t. Be thankful no matter what comes your way; it is God’s will for your life. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). No thank you will ever be displaced when you are giving it to God. He loves to hear it, no matter what you are going through.
“So, I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys.
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I wouldn’t know what faith in God could do.”
Rachel is a lover of travel, nachos, and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She recently graduated with her master’s degree in counseling and human services and is currently serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.