The last couple of weeks have been full of people and situations to pray for. So many family and friends faced with trials weighes heavy on my heart. I hate to say I feel helpless...that all I can do is pray, but it's true. I can't fix what they're going through. I can love on them, make them dinner or help with their kids, but I can't change their current circumstances. Only God can do that. In my helplessness, His strength is made perfect. When there is nothing I can do, He can do everything. That changes my feeling of helplessness to one of surrender. I can take my friends to the foot of the Cross. I can intercede for their circumstances, trusting in the One who knows their need...the One who loves them infinitely more than I do.
A friend who'd been praying with me over several of these situations mentioned how much I had to thank God for this past week. True, three of the situations ended with answered prayer. By answered prayer I mean "answered in the way we prayed". While I thanked Him for answering, I had to check my heart. What if the situations had ended in a way we hadn't prayed for? Would I still thank Him? Would I trust Him enough to understand that His ways are higher than mine; that His plan is so much greater? Yes, I had a lot to thank Him for, but if I truly trust Him, then shouldn't I be thanking Him regardless of the outcome?
Let's be real - It's not easy to thank Him through despression, or cancer or relationship challenges, but in doing so I'm expressing my heart's surrender to His plan...His PERFECT plan. I may not have been thankful at the time for the depression in my life, but through it all I am very thankful for what He did to change me. I am thankful for the molding and shaping that took place through those darkest of nights; those nights when I felt the sun may never rise again. It taught me to be thankful for the promise of a sunrise. I'm thankful that from the ashes of depression He was able to bring something beautiful to life again.
Thanking Him regardless of His answer is the truest expression of thanks.