Faith, Holiday

How To Be Thankful When You Don’t Feel Like It


It is so hard to be thankful when you don’t feel like it.

For all of you who have lost someone this year…

For all of you who are facing this first Thanksgiving without them…

For all of you who have been carrying your loss for years… I ache with you. I lost my dad this summer. And, I just can’t believe that he won’t be with us.

So when the cheery, pumpkin-y, turkey-laden Thursday arrives, you may question how you can be thankful…

Being thankful is difficult, especially when grief in your heart so heavy that it drags you down as you trudge through your day.

I raise my voice, hurting for you as much as for me,

BUT GOD, really?

BUT GOD, why?

BUT GOD, how could this happen?


[Pause. Smile. Breathe.] There is hope. There is hope for you.

When your “But God” is settled on the immeasurableunquantifiable love of God, there is a shift that happens.

A shift has been made in my heart…a recalibration that settles my heart not in doubt or anger or tears. But, in joy. And, thanks. And, gratitude. And, peace.

When you don’t feel like you have anything to be thankful for, BUT GOD.

He goes to where you are with love extended, grabs your hand and points to the crossRomans 5:8

When you are exhausted, harassed, confronting conflicts on the outside and fear within, BUT GOD.

He comforts the downcast and dispenses joys greater than ever before. 2 Corinthians 7:5-7

When your heart is like mush and you can’t stand it any longer, BUT GOD.

The truth of His love is strength and gives what you need for this day… and the next and the next and the nextPsalm 73:26

When things beyond your control reshape your existence, BUT GOD.

He is with you and will rescue you from your troubles.  He will give you wisdom and enable you to stand strong and steady. Acts 7:9-10

When you feel forgotten and crumple into pieces, BUT GOD.

He is the builder of everything right and good and satisfying. Hebrews 3:4 

In the middle of whatever you are in today, may a shift happen that settles your heart in the powerful joy, peace, and love of God.

God, when my cries spill into tears with “But God, Why?”

I will declare, “But God, You”

and surrender to the comfort of Your massive arms of love

finding in that moment a reason to be thankful.



(portion previously posted on November 27, 2013)