Thank you is easier said when we feel like it’s deserved.
Not being thankful for my family is the most uncomfortable and scandalous thing I could ever admit to. But there have been seasons when the last thing I am, is thankful for my absent and detached family. It’s hard to be thankful for people you don’t know and don’t seem to want to know you. People that would rather hang out with their friends, than spend time with you during the holidays. Disappointment is hard to be thankful for, but that is where the twist is.
My family and being disappointed are two different things.
Family is living and breathing, loved by God, and put in my life and yours for a reason. Disappointment is a feeling that can breed all sorts of evil within us. It grows bitterness and builds walls around the heart. Disappointment produces an icky aroma of selfishness, like a skunk on a crisp day.
We can be disappointed in our families and we may not trust them, but those emotions, no matter how valid, are no reason for us to not be thankful for their presence and who they are. My family may not show up in my life when I wish they would, but they are good, kind, and compassionate people. They may not love me the way I would like to be loved, but they love others well. They are not perfect, but they are God’s precious ones, he created them on purpose for a divine purpose.
I am not owed the love and care of my family. None of us are owed that love, it is freely given. Being thankful for who we share a table with on holidays and a name with for the rest of our lives is the gift we have been given. Let us say thanks and give our requests about our family to God. He can take our disappointment and transform it into peace.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
We can be thankful for our families and trust God with our disappointment in them and ourselves.
God, thank you for these dear friends. We give our families to you. Each individual and circumstance is in your hands, and we trust you with the mess. Please take our disappointment and transform it into peace that only you can give. Help us to not let disappointment keep us from being thankful for the people around our tables. Thank you for giving us our families. Their lives are precious to you, help them be precious to us. We love you.