This is my last post on trying to learn about thankfulness in the hard stuff....It has taken me some time and thought to be able to reach this point and I am sure that as time goes by I will learn more but here is where I am for now.
One of the hardest lessons any Christian has to learn is that loss is part and parcel of the Christian walk. When we become believers we mistakenly think that all our life going forward will be sunshine and roses...glory and hallelujah. This is not the case. By becoming a believer in Christ we are made new and our entire life becomes about one thing... becoming like Him and expressing His Life in the earth. For a while, after being saved life usually is grand and glorious...just as Jesus experienced popularity and enjoyed a following, had friends and loved ones surrounding Him and was successful in his ministry...so often are we...joyful...happy...blessed....needs being met, miracles happening in and around us...God using us mightily...exciting times for sure! Ahhh those are the days....
Then it begins to happen....if we continue in our walk...continue to pursue Him in deeper and deeper ways...we find that the path becomes darker, less clear, familiar things are stripped away....those walking with us become fewer....successes become farther apart...and may to the natural eye, completely cease. Even as Jesus experienced, we may find that our outward standing, friends, ministry, jobs, health....all that we have built has slipped away, until we are left completely alone...Until it seems we have lost everything we ever gained by following
Him....it may even appear that we are good for nothing in His kingdom.
It is a scary place to be...alone...tired...sick...afraid...useless. Can I be thankful in such a place? I confess, it has taken ALL of Christ that I have ever known to learn to be...if not thankful FOR such a place...thankful IN SPITE of that place.
Eventually we learn...hopefully we learn...that suffering and even death come to all that follow Him into the depths. It is a choice I think...to continue to seek Him...to continue to have a thankful heart...even in the dark places of taking up His cross. It requires faith...His faith, to believe that when we came to follow Him we became His Seed...a seed that would have to die in order that Life in a truly substantial form could come forth, just like He did.
And then...just when we think it is all over and nothing good can come.....The Light shines! a sprout pushes above ground! Praise be to God there is resurrection! Hallelujah!
Just as there was for Him...there is for us, if we can hold on to Him long enough to see it to fruition. He brings us out of the dark, just as His Father brought Him up out of the grave to new life. The seed that has died brings forth life.
Which brings about an entirely new proposition.....can I be thankful for the loss...the lost time....the loss of joy...the loss of peace, of health, of finances....the years the canker worm has eaten?
Still having a hard time with that one, and learning more....but God is in the new life business...and for me...in my life...He is redeeming all things. Restoring...not necessarily to the way they were before, that is the old man way of thinking...(Job didn't get his lost daughters and sons back, he got new ones)....but He restores to the perfect picture He had in mind all along....the fruit He had seen in that Seed from the beginning. The Life that has and is coming forth... for THAT I can be thankful!