It’s that time of year when Facebook blows up with posts full of things people are thankful for. Things like family, friends, homes, and income are usually exhausted the first few days of such postings. After that it gets a little more interesting. Suddenly people are thankful for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice bathroom sprays, and quite possibly the actual pumpkin pie.
But what about those who are going through a season of crisis? I mean, when things are going well, it isn’t too hard to find things to be thankful for. But when you’ve lost your job, had medical problems, have bills piling up, lost a loved one, or are struggling in your relationships, it can be a lot harder to remember the things for which you should be thankful.
I was recently as a meeting with a large group of women. We decided to go around and share prayer requests.There were several needs shared, some of which were pretty desperate, but one stood out as different. A woman asked for prayer because the business she and her husband own is doing really well. They’ve been expanding, hiring, and making a lot of money.
I have to say, I leaned in a little out of confusion. My husband has been laid off more months than not over the past several years, and finding new jobs seems to get harder each time. The thought that someone would need prayer because they were doing well financially just didn’t compute with my financially strapped mind.
But then she explained herself. When their business was struggling, they relied heavily upon God to meet their needs. Now that their business is doing well, she is finding that their reliance on God is waning, and she asked for prayer to help her and her husband remain strong in their reliance on God, and not their business.
This part of the request was something I could understand. You see, I love being comfortable. When my husband was working overtime, bringing in the big money, I paid the bills and did our shopping without a second thought. When I had all the health in the world and could manage a plate of responsibilities big enough for Goliath, I never even considered what it would be like to have a smaller plate.
It’s only been through the fire and struggles that I’ve been able to learn how to rely on God. From panic attacks over unpaid bills and learning to shift my focus from my husband to God after realizing that my husband can’t fulfill all my needs, to peace that God is in control has been a journey that I’m grateful I’ve been able make.
I still don’t have it all together, and I won’t soon be praying for persecution like Paul, but I have been able to slowly see the benefit of relying on God through the struggles. And I am thankful for that.