Day 6: Giving Thanks in Times of Distress
My heart is heavy today with grief over those hurt and killed while worshiping at church in Texas yesterday – due to another act of senseless violence. The weight of this tragic loss is compounded with so many other acts of senseless violence, heart wrenching tragedies, and sweeping natural disasters which have happened in just a few short weeks. There is a hole in my heart. And, there’s guilt in there too. Because, I am still living, and all those closest to me are still living. I am still sleeping in my own bed in my own home with my loved ones near to me. I am untouched personally by violence, natural disaster or financial ruin today …. when so many other brothers and sisters are suffering.
This month I’m blogging about gratitude each day. But, there are times when giving thanks seems nearly impossible. How can we possibly be grateful when trials and tragedy strike?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught that in these times, thinking to thank can lift our spirits and broaden our perspective.
“We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. …
“Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges. …
“True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will”
Grateful in Any Circumstances, Apr. 2014 general conference.
Gratitude in our difficult circumstances does not make the hard times go away. It doesn’t mean that we have to get through our difficulties by sheer willpower or try to fix situations like deep grief or mental illness by “just being more grateful.”
No. It simply means that we look up to Christ, and we live by faith.
When we express gratitude, we “know in whom [we] have trusted” (2 Nephi 4:19) and acknowledge that it is through Jesus’s grace and enabling power that we can endure our trials. He can make beautiful things grow from the ashes of our most difficult experiences.
Our gratitude in hard times is an expression of our faith and hope in Him. It gives us the strength to endure our trials in a more Christlike way, one day at a time.
May God bless all who are suffering today. Help them feel the peace of our Savior’s love, and the courage to walk forward with eyes of faith. – MoSop
I’ll walk with God from this day on
His helping hand, I’ll lean upon
This is my prayer, my humble plea
May the Lord be ever with me
There is no death, though eyes grow dim
There is no fear when I’m near to Him
I’ll lean on Him forever
And He’ll forsake me never
He will not fail me
As long as my faith is strong
Whatever road I may walk along
I’ll walk with God, I’ll take His hand
I’ll talk with God, He’ll understand
I’ll pray to Him, each day to Him
And He’ll hear the words that I say
From “The Student Prince” composed by Nicholas Brodzsky, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, arrangement by Ryan Murphy