Thankfulness
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Thankfulness

I just now passed a church marquee with the message, “Thank God no matter what happens.”  Really?!  I could not disagree with anything more strongly.   Thank God for 9/11?  Thank God for my neighbor’s child who died because she was struck by a bullet from a stupid drive-by shooter?  Thank God because my friend’s wife died from breast cancer?  Really?  That is just plain stupid.  It makes God out to be a monster.  Don’t preachers think about what they say? 
 
I know that Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.”   Fine.  That means our loving heavenly Father is able to pick up the tragic pieces of our disasters and help us.  But I do not have to be thankful the tragedy occurred.  He didn’t do it.  He isn’t any happier than we are that it happened.  What I am thankful for is that He is there for us when bad things happen. 
 
Sometimes I am afraid we get so syrupy with our faith we are afraid to be angry when rotten things occur.  Loving God doesn’t mean we have to go around being thankful for all the things that happen as if He is doing them.   He is not.  Bad things happen in this world.  Okay?   We have a loving Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children and is just as miserable and broken as we when our children, grandchildren and neighbors are hurt.
 
Please, I beg you.  Do not be thankful no matter what happens.  Be angry that there is an enemy in the land.   Be thankful that no matter what happens, we can be more than conquers through Christ.  Romans 8.   In I Thessalonians 5:18 Paul tells us to be thankful in all circumstances.  That means be thankful in all circumstances that we have a God to help us.