August 27, 2013 caught me in a mode of deep reflection. I was celebrating my wedding anniversary- two years of marriage! I looked back on the journey over the two year period and I couldna��t help but smile. God has been good!
The first year was the year of a�?teething painsa�?. As newlyweds we were taken through the period where we learnt to live together and learnt to adjust to each othera��s habits and lifestyles. There were times when adjusting felt unfair, frustrating and even sad but there was a constant sense of peace, love and a�?rightnessa�? about this road we had embarked on.
There were challenges that we faced that were extremely overwhelming, that made us feel helpless and weak and we encountered situations that we couldna��t change. However, we were constantly reminded in different ways that Goda��s strength was made perfect in our times of weaknesses.
In the second year we saw the pharmacy world. emergence of a�?baby teetha�?- the reward of our teething pains. Issues that would have bowled us over in the 1st year of marriage were no longer a problem. The a�?teetha�? that we had developed were strong enough for us to tear those issues to pieces. However we were faced with some new challenges that required stronger teeth and God allowed our a�?baby teetha�? to fall out (another painful and awkward time), so that we could tackle the issues we currently face.
Through it all we laughed, we cried, we fell, we helped each other up, wiped away each others tears, encouraged the other through the fears and constantly prayed and today with much gratitude we are able to say, “Lord, thank You!a�? Even in the rocky times, we saw Goda��s hand move mightily upon our marriage, and in the good times (which far outnumbered the challenging times), we felt His hand steering us and His gentle voice whispering, a�?Al and Claudene, trod on.a�? We have learnt the value of giving God thanks.
We are reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, that in everything we should give thanks unto God, for this is His will for us. It is a fact that some days our experiences are so terrible that it is hard to be grateful for those situations. However we are encouraged to give thanks to God for every situation because in doing this we are actually walking in His will for our lives. In other words, ita��s for our own good!
When we give God thanks in spite of how we are feeling or even when things get unbearable, we are saying to God, a�?I am placing my confidence in you because you are working all things for my good.a�?
I implore you today to stop what you are doing and give God thanks for the fact that you are alive, for your family, for your friends, your job, for His provisions, His protection, His promises to youa�� just go ahead and give God thanks for both the good and the bad.
You may not understand all that He is doing in your life at this present moment and things may seem bizarre and even chaotic but surrender your life totally in His hands and trust Him to steer you through. Once you have done this, you can be confident that that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Go ahead and cultivate that life of gratitude today!
[photo credit: Al & Claudene Givans braiding the cord of 3 strands on their wedding day]