People often look at Thanksgiving as a time to express gratitude for what they have. Although this is a wonderful tradition and practice, I have felt led in the past few weeks to be thankful for what I have not had.
I have been realizing that the empty places in life, the situations where something is lacking, those are the exact places where the Lord can show up and give us the greatest gift of all . . . revelations about Himself.
My son Patrick and I wrote a book entitled, “Optimism for Autism.” It shares our life story of discovering exactly that, and it offers others the opportunity to look at their own lives and uncover the same truth: God is not part of our lives. He IS our life.
In the book, I mention, “I don’t think God gave us an autistic son because we could handle it. I think He gave us this precious child because we couldn’t. There are things in life that are simply beyond us, and that’s where we meet God.”
The same holds true for your situation. Wherever you find yourself today and whatever is lacking, your Father in heaven wants to meet you there and reveal a special part of Himself to you. The empty places offer us the special gift of knowing Him better and loving Him more.
He wants us to know Him, believe Him, and understand that He is God (Isaiah 43:10). We have a special opportunity to do just that in the places where our own resources and abilities fall short.
With that in mind, I wrote the following piece about what “I Would Not Have Known” if I had not experienced the places of lacking in my life:
I Would Not Have Known
I would not have known the Lord as the God of all comfort unless I had needed comforting.
I would not have known the Lord as my strength, unless I had felt weak and unable.
I would not have known the Lord’s presence, unless I had felt alone.
I would not have known the Lord’s power, unless I had felt powerless.
I would not have known the Lord’s faithfulness, unless I had needed Someone to walk with me through the valley.
I would not have known the Lord’s lovingkindness, unless I had needed love, affection, and commitment.
I would not have known the Lord’s wisdom, unless I had not known what to do.
I would not have known the Lord’s grace, unless I had been in a place where I did not deserve it.
I would not have known the Lord’s truth, unless my own wisdom failed me.
I would not have known the blessings of God, unless I had been given the opportunity to trust Him in the most difficult of places.
Maybe this Thanksgiving you could make your own list of what you would not have known.
We can choose to thank God for what we have and for what we don’t have, because He has blessings for us in both places . . . and HE is the greatest treasure of all.
Question: What has the Lord revealed to you about Himself in the places of lacking in your life? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King