Just a little while ago, springtime — a season of rebirth and awakening — brought new life, leading to the bounty of summer. But summer is over, and another season has followed. Walking hand-in-hand with joy and hope have come disappointments, sadness, painful decisions, and suffering amidst trials. I have been sorrowful with the unpleasant soul-testing times when I hear of relatives and neighbours with cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, depression, and drug addiction, as well as my own situation with eye surgery up in the air, a mild cardiac condition, and severe asthma to cope with. Just walking around the block, I see the street people gathering, and I hear their language. It is not safe to talk to them, as many are drug addicts and can get violent. Then there are the suffering children in the world, the hunger and disease, and harassment by mindless people whose sinful ways rule lifestyles. I am sad that the whole ungodly human race is passing sin from one generation to the next. In a word, I am painfully aware of the falling from the grace of God.
However, I have weathered okay by that same grace of God. I forward my burdens to Jesus as soon as they arrive and let the processing come from the Lord. In the stillness and silence of my soul, I find God's redeeming love, and I have truly cried out with gladness for the power and presence and healing that God in Christ brings with His peace.
I see and feel the Master's touch, regardless of my tears, as I realize how much God loves me, as if I were the only one to care for. God knows that a healthy struggle is good for me and a tool to shape me to trust more in Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)
Romans 8:31 – What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (NIV)
That is why I can give thanks this Thanksgiving season and bow my head to God for all the special things He has done and is doing. I know that these surprises surface in the most unexpected times, for God's redeeming seasons never end for all who turn to Him with repentant and childlike hearts.
God has revealed His love in the sacrificial suffering and dying of His Son Jesus for our sins, in His resurrection from the grave, and in His coming again! I see God's love pouring out in all seasons — seasons of His redeeming and everlasting love! Thanks be to God!
Prayer: God of everlasting love, we strive to give You thanks for all things! Thanks for helping through the testing times. Thanks for Your power during the floods many must endure. And special thanks for the grace that You so freely pour out. Come, Lord Jesus, where the need is greatest. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen!