It's hard to be thankful when you don't know when your next paycheck is coming (or from where). It's hard to be thankful when your best friends are 900 miles away. It's hard to be thankful when your office is the most central location of your parents' home, when your internal clock has no idea what time of the year it is, or when you don't have any idea what your calendar will look like even a month from now. It's hard to be thankful; it's easy to host a pity party.
Every once in awhile, I let the tears roll. They're good. They're healthy. But once they come, they're hard to stop.
Like Job, I speak bluntly and harshly to the Lord. While it's nice to get those feelings out on paper, it doesn't usually solve much. (Did I just say that out loud?) I still don't know what's next. I'm still playing pin the tail on the donkey.
And still even here, I have a lot to be thankful for. Did I not wake up this morning breathing and refreshed? When I rolled over and put my feet on the floor, did they not stay there and hold my weight? (No peanut gallery comments, please). Was there not toothpaste in the tube, toilet paper on the roll, and soap in the dispenser? Is there food in the pantry and hot water in the shower? Do I have a jacket, shoes, and gasoline?
Have I not people who love and care about me? People who encourage me and pour into me? Scripture tucked away in my heart? Is the Lord not in this limbo, this barren desert, this hideous time in between?
Life is hard. Yet still there is so much to be thankful for even if they're the small, simple things we tend to take for granted. Even if it's the tears and the angry words. Even if it's the promise, "I will be with you always to the very end of the age" (See Matthew 28).
Even if nothing else goes correctly, that one reason alone is enough to bring thanksgiving to my lips again and again.