How do I Give Thanks Now?
by Lalenunat Johnson
“Though He slay me yet will I trust in Him…” Job 13:15 (KJV)
It was an early April morning, the day before Tax Day to be exact, and I had a morning appointment that I really did not want to attend. In fact, I dreaded it. How could I ever get through this? Why me? I never, never, never imagined I’d be in this place – that my life would take this turn. Oh God! I know you’ve got me, but is this really going to happen? Are you going to allow this? Are you going to stop this!?
It had been two years that I had been in this part of this horribly bad nightmare that I so wanted to wake up from. I got dressed and made my way to Divorce Court. My beautiful, good looking, provider, and protector of a husband was “putting me away”. He no longer wanted to be married. “It wasn’t about me”, he would say. It was about him. He needed to find his way, but it affected my whole world – our children, our sanity, our livelihood, our lifestyle, just everything!
“Ugh,” I thought. “This is so embarrassing, and so painful. How will I get through this?”
Throughout this process, the Lord had told me not to agree with the spirit of divorce and that He, Himself, was my covering. Well, how do you trust God when you are in the most challenging and painful experience that you have ever had, and you don’t see Him bringing you out of it like you expect? No, instead you find yourself still in it. Despite every desire, effort, and fight to get out, God doesn’t remove you as you expect. Instead, He brings you through it.
“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 (AMPC)
Oh, how I wanted there to be a turnaround, a change of heart, a reconciliation, more time… but, the judge granted his wish and declared divorce. The order was made, the gavel hit, and it was finished.
“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (AMPC)
Even in all of that, I yet trusted the Lord. See, although the end at that moment, did not look the way I wanted it to look, I knew that God was yet with me. It was His hand that kept me, that held my hand while I was there, with no family or close friends, in court, being dismissed by my husband. (Could I even call him this? This is weird. What do I even call him at this point?). God held my hand, and He held my heart.
I can honestly say, that I am thankful to God for this experience, for in it, I have been made! Because I endured and did not faint, because I went through and was processed instead of being pulled out, I have been perfectly and fully developed in the Lord, lacking in nothing. I am so strong in Him. I am encouraged and a great encouragement to others. God’s love and his purpose shines bright in my life. And, I do not hold any grudges or ill feelings towards my former husband. In fact, I yet pray for him regularly, that the Lord will have His perfect work in him, and bring him to his God-ordained expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).
During the holiday season and on this day of Thanksgiving, many of us are experiencing challenges in our lives. Perhaps there is fresh tragedy in your life, or you may be grieving over some loss. I urge you to put your eyes on the Lord.
You see, the Word doesn’t promise that we will not have issues to face, but we do have the comfort and guidance of Holy Spirit to walk alongside us. Keep your eyes on the Father, and if He does not end your situation or bring you out in the way that you expect, trust His sovereignty. Know that He is working all things together for your good. Trust the Lord, and be thankful.
Are you experiencing something this week that is extremely painful right now? Tell us about a situation that your struggling through this Holiday Season, and decree the above scriptures over yourself. Share with us how you feel afterwards!
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