My husband and I joined our hands in prayer before him leaving for work. As we started our whispers of petitions, his one-liner praise drowned my own as I started lifting up our needs:
“Thank You, Lord for Your grace, love and mercy…” was what I heard as my heart was asking Him to heal my son’s lingering coughs since he got sick, about my work that had been discriminating me, my achy neck and other physical symptoms and the uncertain future of my career once my charge against those people in higher positions would start.
My prayers became silent feeling a little embarrassed with everything that I was asking for. Instead, I found myself asking God in which He alone would hear, “How can I thank You despite what’s going on in our lives?”
“How can I thank You if physical healing seems to be not happening?”
“How can I thank You knowing I didn’t deserve the unfair treatment at work?”
“How can I thank You knowing how those people abusing their power seem to be getting away with everything they do that makes everyone at work not happy and treat us without any regard to our needs and capabilities?”
“How can I thank You knowing a lot of family and friends are going through tough times?”
I slightly peeked at my husband who was nearing to end his prayers of thanks, thinking that he said something else to me.
“Look at Me…”was what I heard audibly, except it didn’t come from my husband’s lips. It was whispered into my heart.
And in that split second, I was taken back to that time when the Egyptians were pursuing the Israelites after leaving Egypt with Moses. Moses’ faith-filled reassurance to people about God’s help prevailed more than the fearful cries of pleas from the Israelites. With God’s help, the people were able to cross the parted Red Sea while the Pharaoh’s entire army was swept away when the waters returned. God’s providence did have a bright and pleasant side toward His people.
My neck pain? How would it compare to Jesus’ wounds and what He had to endure on the cross?
My son’s lingering coughs? They were not bad after all. The doctor must know he would need his inhalers temporarily and God had been awesomely providing for our needs. Despite my work limiting my hours and giving me a hard time, God had provided us enough to pay for our bills, food, and other things.
The unfair treatment at work? Nothing any one of us does would ever slip His justice because in the end of our journeys, we would all face God.
The suffering loved ones and friends? Relationships are His gift in the first place. Through sharing grief and other pain, the burden becomes lighter for one carrying that heavy load.
How can I give thanks when facing all these storms of life? I can…Knowing that behind those dark clouds, the Son is always shining. God’s love is never far from us. It’s always close, waiting to be accepted in a person’s heart…For what God had done to show how much He loves us, that alone is suffice to always be “thankful”…
How can I be thankful? I should be…because of Jesus…Like those Israelites saved by God out of slavery (Egypt), Jesus truly sets us free!
“Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne.” – Hebrews 12:2 (NCV) - (emphasis is mine)