“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
Have you ever come out of a season of adversity, suffering, or challenging circumstances and did the proverbial ‘look back,‘ feeling a sense of appreciation thinking that what you encountered, had come out of, was worth it seeing the result working together for good despite how you felt while going through it? It happened to me recently, at the time my book was being published, I had this overwhelming sense of appreciation for having gone through what I had just endured seeing the result culminating in the book, but while going through it, I was feeling something entirely different. I actually said to myself it was all worth it, but that was not always how I felt in the process.
I do not believe God wants us to be thankful for tragedy, suffering, and misfortune, but I do believe we can give thanks to God during and after what we encounter if we are able to maintain the proper perspective and posture while going through the storms of life and after they cease. Encountering separation and divorce brings with it, in some instances, so much uncertainty, instability, and anxiety that giving thanks would probably be the last thing some would think to do, or desire to do. Communicating with a friend today, there is the reality and the intensity of the grief associated with a transition that is and can be overwhelming that would make giving thanks an unbearable weight added to the process of moving forward. I have learned the value of acceptance and how it becomes the vehicle and means by which giving thanks can be actualized during the process of grief and the transition.
In conversing with my friend today, I was reminded how important it is to be accepting of one’s grief associated with the transition, not being in denial about the pain associated, as part of one’s ability to get to the better place of giving thanks in all circumstances. I shared how I include in my book as a result of my own grief journey through my transition the understanding, ‘darkness must be embraced as a means to overcome it.’ Is God saying, ‘Give thanks for your pain and suffering,’ or is He saying, ‘When you suffer and encounter grief, misfortune, and pain, give thanks that it positions you to encounter My love, joy, peace, presence, person, and power in a way you would not have known without this season of darkness?’
May God bless you and help you to get to the better place where acceptance and appreciation allows you to endure, persevere, overcome, and prevail against the reality of the transition until your breakthrough comes.