“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you” – 1 Thess 5:18
My dear friend had her much longed for, much desired baby. She and her husband had suffered through three miscarriages. I have seen the hope and joy whenever she discovers she’s pregnant and the despair and heartache when she loses the pregnancy. I have prayed with them and for them. And I have never seen them lose their faith.
Then this pregnancy. It was a difficult pregnancy from the word go. She spent more time in the hospital than home; more time in bed than out. But as each successive month crept by and the pregnancy held steady, our hope and joy increased.
When I got the call that she had put to bed, I screamed and danced a jig round my room. I cannot remember how I got to the hospital, I just found myself there. The joy on her face was confirmation that all those weeks in bed had been worth it. Everybody was euphoric. If any couple deserves to be and should be parents, it was them!
Four days later, their baby died.
For the first time, I saw my friend shattered. It was a blow too much for my strong, gentle, believing friend. She broke down. As she wept in my arms, I looked at her husband; he was numb. He seemed incapable of words or movement. I didn’t know what to say to either of them. I could only cry with them.
Then I heard one of the ladies who had come to comfort them say quietly “In everything give thanks”.
I felt a flash of anger. No, RAGE!
Give thanks for what! The miscarriages?; the long uncomfortable weeks in bed?; raising their hopes then dashing it?; dangling a baby in front of them and snatching it right back?
I saw nothing to give thanks about and no reason to thank God in anything that had just happened.
But just as quickly as it came, the anger left.
We are not told to find a reason to give thanks. Neither are we told there has to be a reason for thanksgiving. As simple and as difficult as it is, we are just told to ‘give thanks for that is the will of God to us’.
Just Give Thanks.
Oh, but how hard! How hard it is to give thanks in a situation like this. It is so hard!