Thanksgiving in the Midst of Grief?

Many years ago in preparation for a Thanksgiving sermon I came across the following quote from a great Christian who was robbed. It helped give me a different perspective on thankfulness.

“I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”  Matthew Henry

I’m not sure how that directly applies to dealing with grief. Suggesting that our grief could be worse is not a helpful message and could be a hurtful message. Telling a bereaved parent that they “still have other children;” or that they” are young and can have another child” is cruel.

In light of all this, what can I be thankful for in the middle of my painful grief?

  • I am thankful for “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4a.
  • I am thankful for a wife who shares my grief.
  • I am thankful for family and friends who are supportive.
  • I am thankful for a church that ministers to me.
  • I am thankful for the hope I have that “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21: 3b-4
  • I am thankful for the promise, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15: 25-26
  • I am thankful for precious memories.

My prayer is that in spite of your grief you will also be aware of blessings for which you too can be thankful.