“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way.”
1 Corinthians 1:4 NIV
It may be easy to give thanks when someone does a kind deed, or an act in your favour. It can be almost natural to be grateful when you are in a season of blessing and abundance. But, what about when someone else in your life is walking through a time of answered prayer, while you feel like the heavens are brass to you ? Can you be grateful then?
A number of years ago, I had received numerous prophetic words over my life. Some that spoke to the very deep longings in my heart. Words, that touched the core of who I was both, as a woman and as a daughter of God. Yet, almost as soon as they were spoken, I began to watch them come to pass in the life of a good friend of mine. Not only did they come to pass in her life, but God put me right in the middle of these words being fulfilled in her. It was painful to say the least. As I labored to be excited and happy for her, I also grieved and wondered what I might be doing wrong in order that someone else was experiencing what was suppose to be promises for me. I wrested greatly in that season to be grateful. It was a time of a mixed internal war, but today I can honestly say, I am grateful for the season. Although I am almost 15 years removed from it, I have still never seen the fulfillment of those promises in my life and you know what? It’s ok. I know this, my loving Father holds my every moment, and He knew then what I can see in part today. The fulfillment of those words in my life at that time would have made me depend more on man and less on God. But I also am reminded that my life is not finished. Whether I ever see those words fulfilled or not is irrelevant to me at this moment. What matters is that I can learn to experience God in the seasons of what I feel are loss. And that I realize my life goes beyond my years on this physical earth.
Looking back, the thing that challenges my heart is this; Can I be grateful to God when someone else is living in the perceived blessing while I am living in perceived lack? Can I celebrate with them? For them? Can I be grateful to God for His abundance in someone else? I believe this is a true test to gratitude like no other. When I can sing and celebrate for another in my moment of deep disappointment then, I have learned to love beyond my selfishness and to believe in a God who does not miss a detail.
How can I say this now? A few years ago, I took a course in Israel and I was privileged to see something. God is fulfilling a 6000 year old promise to His people in my generation. He never fails to perform His Word. I can be sure that, whether I ever see the things I hope for in this life with my natural eyes, God will do them, without fail.
Today I am grateful for the moments of disappointment. They revealed to me where my trust was fixed. I am grateful for the promises fulfilled in my friend’s life. Today, I can look at both her struggles and her victories and know that even the promise does not come without sacrifice and cost. It was her time. I am grateful to have been able to be a part of that time, it deposited something rich in my heart that is still being produced all these years later. I am thankful to a God who does not always give us what we want, even when they are deep longings, because He sees what we cannot. I am so grateful I can trust Him with the things that I do not understand in the moment and know that He does all things well. This I know today, every promise from God in my life will be fulfilled.