Lent Day 4 – The Hard Thanks

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When the Lazarus walks from his tomb. When the leper’s sores fall away. When the blind man sees for the first time. It’s easy to give thanks.

When Jesus rode into town on the colt. When the crowds shouted “Hosanna!” When the little ones laid their palm branches before him. Easy joy.

But in the shadow of the cross, praying in the garden, betrayed, arrested, on trial…

Depression is one of the best gifts God’s ever given me. It works all things together for good in me. It drowns me in dependence – for the next step, the next breath, the will to live. And I’m grateful – broken and weeping but also grateful.

Sickness, loss, broken relationships, ends that won’t meet – the hard thanks.

All good things are a gift from God. How many “bad” things could be made good with gratitude?

Jesus broke the bread – his body – and gave thanks. He poured the wine – his blood – and gave thanks. Neither life nor death can separate us from our good God. Both can bring us closer.


Our Prayer

God, you alone can fill our hurt human hearts with gratitude. We need that today.

Where our lives are broken, give us eyes to see the gift. When we are being poured out, gives us a true desire to give thanks.

We repent of self-pity, and hopelessness. We say “thank you” instead.