On trying to be grateful

Sometimes life doesn’t make sense.

My relationship with God right now is a crazy one. In easier days, I come to Him composed and with my well worded prayers. But in days like these, I come crying and questioning. It’s raw and it’s real. And actually it’s just hard. It’s hard to understand and it’s hard to be glad that God’s picked us out for these particular tough times.

Picture book Christianity is easy.
When life is good it’s easy to be grateful for the lovely things you have. Of course it is.
But it’s when something hard comes that your grateful muscles really have to be used. At first, because you haven’t used them much before, it hurts. It hurts like crazy. How can you truly be grateful for something so hard? But the more you use them, the stronger they get. It doesn’t make things hurt any less. It doesn’t mean that hard things are suddenly a breeze. But your grateful muscles become a powerful part of your weaponry. And the grateful prayers that seemed so hard at the beginning come more naturally now.
When things go wrong and are rubbish and hard and sad, I’m quicker now to say thanks. Thanks for the hard things. Thanks for the closeness to you that they bring. Thanks for trusting me with hard things and growing me through them.

That doesn’t mean I’m not confused. I often can’t see the point of the hard things for ages, some I still have no idea why we were given them.
But faith is full of upside down things. It’s confidence in what we hope for. It’s assurance of what we don’t see. And I think that it’s also gratefulness for things that don’t make immediate sense.

Like all of my muscles, my grateful ones are very weak. But God’s been giving them a good workout recently. David and I have both felt the burn of trying to be grateful even when we just can’t see why. We’ve failed many many times but the Lord is forgiving and our training continues.

Sometimes life doesn’t make sense. But our God takes the confusion and the pain and uses them to make us stronger. Now that’s something to be grateful for.