The carnival arrived in town. As we crossed the bridge, we saw the rides, concessions, and lights. We parked the car and walked across the pavement to the grass. My hands were clammy and my heart beat fast.
The old ticket was folded then handed to the attendant. We strapped our bodies in the ride and I breathed in deep. Willing my heart to clam, I wiped my hands on my jeans and turned to my friend. We offered each other a weak smile. The ride began, and we are turned upside down. Our eyes automatically tried to focus, but the world turned this way and that.
I squeezed my eyes shut, because I couldn’t make sense of the upside-down world. It twisted us back and forth, what is up and what is down? I felt a little nauseous. I can’t wait for the ride to be over. After we stumbled down the steps, my friend and I giggled in our dizziness. Rides like that are fun – when we know the twisting and turning will end.
But what if it doesn’t end? What if our life shifts? What was up is now down and we can’t make sense of our surroundings. Give thanks. Its the call from Scripture. But how do we give thanks when life is turned upside down by grief? By loss? By a leaving? By rejection?
When I begin to list all that I am thankful for, I find I am so me centered. I thank Him for the season change. For sweaters and pumpkin spice. I give Him thanks for warm houses and hearts and welcoming friends. I thank Him for the beauty and the small graces. To me. For me. And in me.
Sometimes I miss the reason to give thanks…..
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing…For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100
The psalmist knew real thanks is thanking God for…Himself. Even in the days when life makes no sense, give thanks. In the darkness and pain and grief, give thanks. In the time when the pieces of your broken heart to fit back awkwardly back together, give thanks. In a season of winter, and no growth, give thanks. When the world is tilted upside down, give thanks.
Sometimes we give thanks mingled with tears. And that’s ok.
They say to keep from being dizzy on those rides, keep focused on the horizon. The horizon doesn’t change. So focus on the sun. The sun rises in the morning to remind us to give thanks, no matter our circumstances. Our God is faithful, just like the sun, in His steadfast love is sure.
This thanksgiving I’m not going to give thanks for the gifts, but the Giver. Not for the grace, but the source of grace. Not for the love of family, but the steadfast love from my heavenly Father. I will not only thank Him for the good things, but for being the Good One.
How to Stay Thankful When Life is Turned Upside Down – Free Printable!
Read through the verses here, and simply turn each attribute into a prayer of thanksgiving. You can print off this list, with space to write you answers here. It will print in a 5X7 card to keep in your Bible or journal. Blessings sweet reader!
Example: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1
O God I give you thanks because you are light. You light the darkness everyday. When life overwhelms me with so many things, I praise you for your goodness and light. I praise you for your salvation. No amount of guilt will be too much for grace. I give thanks for salvation today. Amen.