I endeavor to be thankful daily for all that God gives me and all He is doing in my life, but Thanksgiving always serves as a reminder to stop and dig deep, and be sure I am properly thankful for everything He does for me. A number of my friends have been participating in a “challenge” on Facebook; on each day in November, you are to post one thing for which you are thankful. It’s a digital way of counting your blessings, and it’s certainly been interesting to read their happy postings about family, friends, and great opportunities.

It’s also been interesting to see messages of gratitude popping up in between news articles on the horrors in Paris, Beirut, Nigeria, and Mali, and angry posts on politics. These glimpses of goodness amidst the turmoil add an extra measure of hope to the day.

But the confluence of the streams has also made me re-think my approach to giving thanks and made me dig even deeper. Yes, I am grateful for the abundance of positive blessings with which the Lord showers me. But I also want to be thankful for the lessons He has taught me while seeing me through dark times. I want to be thankful for how He has enabled me push darkness and fear out of my heart. I need to praise Him for not letting go of my hand in those moments when I wasn’t hanging on to His as tightly as I should.

We sing, “All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above, then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all His Love.” But even as we glorify Him, we need to remember that those good gifts can come to us in strange wrappings. We need to be thankful that God walks with us in the sunshine, but He also sits with us in the dark. He dances with us in joy, but He also holds us tightly in sorrow. He loves us through the storm and guides us into the peace on the other side.

As we celebrate our blessings this Thanksgiving, let us celebrate them all, for He is with us in every moment. May joy and gratitude be with us, this week and always.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circum-stances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”1 Thessalonians 5:16-18