Two years ago was one of the worst November’s ever! My husband’s job had been going rough. Their Florida office just wasn’t producing what the corporate office was expecting. Over the summer there had been threats of closing their office, but then things picked up. Then the week before Thanksgiving we found out that the Florida office would be closing & my husband would be laid off. His last week of work would be the first week of December. Oh and did I mention I’m a stay at home mom so his job is the only income our family has?
Then the Sunday before Thanksgiving, as I was driving home from church, a truck hit my car and totaled it. My car almost flipped. You see I was driving a VW Jetta and he was driving a big Dodge Ram truck. A few moments earlier, it would’ve been a head on collision. It was totally his fault and nothing I could do to prevent it. Thankfully my son and I were not hurt. I was just sore.
So I really didn’t have a lot to be thankful for that year. Let’s be honest. How long will my husband be unemployed & will we have Christmas were all I could think about! I can’t say “thank you Jesus my husband lost his job.” How do I thank Him in the middle of that?
Well first of all, I will tell you it’s extremely important that you surround yourself with people who can help you be thankful when you can’t be. I don’t know how we would’ve made it through without our church support. The day of the accident, I had a friend call me and speak such encouragement to me. She said, “I know it may seem like everything is going wrong right now, but keep your head high and don’t forget that God is in control. He won’t let you fall.” I even had people telling us that if we had any problems with bills or groceries they would help us out. Thankfully we never had to use that, but it was such a relief to know that it was there if we needed to.
“Joshua did what Moses ordered in order to fight Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. But Moses’ hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands remained steady until the sun went down. Joshua defeated Amalek and its army in battle.”
Exodus 17:10-13 The Message
Second, stay on the Word. Psalm is my absolute favorite, go-to book when bad times come and I’m having a hard time with thankfulness. David is my favorite Bible person. He had good days and bad days but he always took it to God. He stayed thankful through it all. Some days the only thing you may be able to say is, “Thank you Jesus!” That’s ok. Take baby steps.
“I bless GOD every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe GOD; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy: Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out. GOD met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. When I was desperate, I called out, and GOD got me out of a tight spot. GOD ’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good GOD is. Blessed are you who run to him.”
Psalm 34:1-8 The Message
A few verses down is one of my favorites for the bad times:
“If your heart is broken, you’ll find GOD right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”
Psalm 34:18 The Message
I don’t have all the answers but I hope that when you’re going through a rough time you can remember these verses and you can still find ways to be thankful. On a good note, my husband was only without a job for a month. He started a new job on January 2! I am so thankful that God saw us through. His severance pay got us through the month of December and we had a great Christmas and a great month. Thank you Jesus!