We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good; if bad, because it works in us patience, humility, contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.
— C. S. Lewis
It’s hard to fathom being thankful and gracious in everything when life can honestly be the pits sometimes. Sure it’s easy to say “grace” at the table when life’s serving up steak and shrimp, but how does that “grace” roll off the tongue when the bills are due and you’ve just had your fifth night of leftover spaghetti? Those prayers probably sound a little different.
C.S. Lewis mentions being thankful in good and bad fortune. The good because, well obviously, it’s good. And the bad because, with it, you find patience, humility, contempt of the world and hope for eternal life. I think he’s dead-on with that synopsis. I don’t think I’ve ever been more humbled than the times when life handed me a bag of rocks. I’ve never learned better patience than when I’ve realized that I’m not in control, and I’ve never known a deeper connection to God’s love than when life was broken all around me. And It’s strange to sense this type of gratitude, being thankful that this flawed world isn’t all there is for me and all those I love. And sometimes it’s with these bad times that I can feel the urgency of hope for an eternal life where I truly belong, and which I was always created for. Even in the bad times, I’m thankful that God gives us hope.
It’s true, the bad times suck. If given the choice, I’d pick good times 3 out of 3 times, even 10 out of 10 times. But we know the honest truth. This world is broken, and with brokenness comes bad times. But by the grace of God in bad times, He’s still good. If anything be thankful in that.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.
— Philippians 4:4
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!”
— Psalm 106:1