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When it’s Hard to Give Thanks

Aargh ...Sometimes giving thanks is just tough.

It was hard for me this week. The cold I caught on Don’s and my flight home from Tennessee developed into a violent cough. Every time it hit I felt like I was tearing apart inside. I produced sticky, yucky green mucous, and lots of it! Tears streamed down my face during these coughing spells, which frightened me as well as any people around me. I was exhausted. Didn’t want to read. No energy to pray. Certainly did not feel thankful.

Oh, I knew I was thankful for the big things … God’s love, salvation, my husband and family; but I couldn’t seem to pull up any thanks in this illness that had overtaken me. This was the sickest I’d been in years.

Years ago I went through a time of pretty serious depression. I couldn’t give thanks then either. But there was a song by a wonderful male quartet that I listened to before going to bed every night for three weeks. With its chorus, I prayed:  “Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.” I’m so worn down, Lord, I have no strength with which to hold onto you. Please hold onto me.

And He did.

And this week, after days of being worn down, exhausted, emotionally empty, I had to take my laptop in for a repair. Our friend Sam worked on it (extensively) while I waited … and charged me nothing. And it was like the Lord said “See, I’m still looking out for you. I have not forgotten you or your needs. You are my beloved.”

II Timothy 2:13 says that “…if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” And that is reason to give thanks!

Are you able to give thanks this Christmas? If not, how can I pray for you during this time?




  1. Susan Jones says:

    So sorry you were ill…are ill? At times like that we are so dependent on the prayers of others on our behalf because we may find we don’t have the extra resource to pray for ourselves. How grateful I have been for those prayers! Yet even if we were totally alone, God is there, and He never runs out of His infinite resources!

    Your phrase, BUT GOD, is with me always!

    I love you,

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you Susan. Yes, there are times in my life when I too have relied on the prayers of others to hold me up; and what a gift those prayers are. Thank you for reminding me of my BUT GOD phrase … yes, it is always true. I love you too.

  2. Karen O'Connor says:

    Carol, I am sorry you have been so sick. I totally get how difficult it is to give thanks during certain seasons of our lives. Oh yes, I’ve been there too, but I know, as you do, that God is faithful even when we are losing our grip on gratitude. May you heal completely and quickly.

    1. carolnl says:

      Karen, thank you for your thoughtful response. Yes, you too have been there; and we are fortunate to know that God is faithful regardless of our emotions. So good to see you today and you looked just darling! Hugs.

  3. MarJean Peters says:

    My dear Carol, I’m SO sorry you were so sick! Hopefully you are beginning to enjoy life once again. Thank you for writing this good encouragement to us all in spite of feeling badly. Those are the times when our thanksgiving and praise is the most beautiful. Someone recently reminded me (was it you?) that in heaven when everything is perfect, our praise won’t have the same meaning or sound as it does here because of our trials. It’s like a more beautiful music when it passes through the strings of pain, heartache, and suffering. Hugs, dear friend! <3

    1. carolnl says:

      Thank you Jeannie. I’m still taking it slow, but hopefully am on an upward swing. I think we need to know that others struggle – with health, finances, family, whatever – as we do, and that no one is immune from life’s challenges. It wasn’t me who reminded you of that thought about heaven … but it is precious. Yes, praise through pain and suffering must have a deeper tone to it. Bless you, dear friend.

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