The last few weeks are teaching us about the fragility of life. As we continue to grieve the loss of my Dad, we’re also celebrating all the Lord gives us–especially each other. The balancing act of experiencing grief yet celebrating moments is not an easy one. But we must all grieve. Without it, we don’t grow. Through it, we find real hope.
As nutty as it sounds, my favorite passage in the Bible is Romans 5:3-5, “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope” (HCSB).
When we fail to allow our sufferings to call our lives into question, we miss out on character. More importantly, we miss out on the hope of God’s love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. A hope that will never leave us disappointed.
This year, Thanksgiving for me is a reminder to celebrate and not waste my sorrows. We dare not ruminate in our grief forever. Instead, we use it.
Taking time to thank God for his gifts produces action in each of us. I’m grateful God gave me a Dad who loved me so incredibly well. Over the next few months–and likely years–I’m going to use my grief to love my own family the way Dad loved his.
This year, we’re starting new traditions. Using prayer to worry less. Planning more family adventures. And being intentional about showing our kids what it means to be there for others who are hurting and in need.
Don’t waste your sorrows. Instead, thank God for them. And allow him to show you the hope that will never disappoint–God’s love.
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.