Last week, after a dire diagnosis, my dad underwent Open Heart Surgery. And each day brings a teeter-totter of challenges and emotions. Yet, the Lord’s comforting hand holds my sister Jeni and me. We feel the prayers as hundreds lift up our dad. We see God’s perfect, sweet timing as events unfold. We watch extraordinary nurses and doctors care for our father. We are grateful. Grateful our dad is still living and grateful for God’s presence in each step.
Jeni and I grieve as tears spill. We clench our hands in anxiety and hold on to one another in support. Still, I discovered something about we two: we have deep roots. We sisters practice thankfulness in a time of heartbreak because we are rooted in our faith. Rooted in God’s word. Rooted in Jesus.
Colossians 2:7 NLT says:
Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
The classic “If, Then” principle is Colossians 2:7.
IF our roots have grown down into God and we build our lives on Him
THEN our faith will grow strong and we will overflow with thankfulness.
Even when death is knocking at the door of someone we love. Even when we face depression or health failure. Even when we are running out of money. Even when…. you fill in yours. Even then, we can be grateful.
Because we are rooted in the truth of God’s word
We spend time in His presence in prayer
We hang out with supportive friends who love God
We fill up our tanks most weeks at church learning truth
We water our roots and they grow deeper and deeper into Him.
I do not know how my dad’s story will play out. Or mine. I do know that life knocks us down. The bible promises this in John 16:33 (https://www.bible.com/bible/111/JHN.16.33.NIV). Some years it seems as if each time we get up, we are knocked down again and again. Here is where our practice of gratitude finds its mettle.
So, my friend, IF we are rooted deeply with Jesus, THEN we know we will grow strong and because of this, we can be thankful in anything life throws at us.