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Black Church News in Virginia

Marriner’s Moment: Emerge Into Giving Thanks – Part 1

Be thankful when you don’t know something … for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times … during those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations … they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge … which will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes … they will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary … because it means you’ve given your all.
It’s easy to be thankful for the ‘good’ things … yet, a life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive … find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.

~ Author Unknown

Most of us can agree that giving thanks is easier when life is good and things are going our way. During difficult, painful or uncertain times, it sometimes requires an extra portion of strength to feel grateful. For example, when we lose a loved one, have health issues, experience the heartache of a wayward child, lose a job, or any other of life’s calamities, mustering up the strength to praise God or give thanks does not come easy. The good news, though, is that most of us only have to look back at our past, to give thanks. We know ‘the stuff’ God has brought us through and, that history enables us to put one foot in front of the other to move forward and give thanks. We understand that if He could fix THAT, He can fix THIS … if it’s His Will. And, like our elders used to say, we can “praise God, anyhow!”

The Book of Job provides us with an example of someone who experienced great loss and tragedy, but praised God anyhow! Many of us have our own ‘Job experiences.’ We can attest to being in valleys so deep, we never thought we would be able to climb out. Those valleys may have been debt, sickness, loss of someone or something, or a myriad of other misfortunes where we not only survived, but thrived. Perhaps, some are now living debt-free, while others have overcome pain, illness and doctors are marveling at the prognosis. Maybe God replaced the love of our lives with someone or something that eased or replaced the heartache of loss. Whatever that valley was – today we have emerged into giving thanks.

This month’s column focuses on how each of us can emerge into giving thanks.

Peace and power.

© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,
Grove Church
November 2017

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