Bad news last week at the optometrist’s. New glasses will do nothing to fix the blurriness. It’s time to see the eye surgeon. I have some early cataracts, but there’s more that may put cataract surgery out of the question — “something else”  that my optometrist isn’t naming, but wants the specialist to look at. I’ve also noticed “something else” happening with my vision sometimes…

So maybe you guessed it: This eye problem is what obscured the roads and signs I wrote about in “Wrong Way.”  What I interpreted as “poor visibility” was poor vison! 

Therefore I must face a hard fact: Driving solo to distant or less-than-familiar places (like to see the kids and grandkids) must stop, at least for months, maybe forever. Major disappointment!

What’s more, the physical ability I always said I’d most hate to lose was my eyesight, because nearly all the things I most enjoy involve my eyes, heavily: reading, writing, blogging, emailing, sewing, quilting, weaving, scrapbooking, decoupage, embroidery—all different kinds of close and detailed work. I’m already struggling to see well enough for some of these.

So, know what I said to God, while driving out on other errands, after the doctor’s prognosis?

“Thank You.”

Then I cried.

Ephesians 5:17-20 commands “giving thanks always for all things,” not just things that please us. 

It’s repeated in Ps 105:1; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 136:1—“Give thanks to the LORD”?

But they don’t tell me not to cry.

These commands aren’t about liking, but doing. If we’re racked with illness, grief, or confusion, liking what’s happening or working up exuberant feelings may exceed our ability. But saying, “Thank you, God,” doesn’t.

What’s more, when we thank God only for what we like, we act as judges, passing verdicts on His actions. In thanking Him for both “good” and “bad,” we surrender to trusting Him, acknowledging Him as Lord, truly wise, truly good, and that, though we may never know in this life why He’s brings or allows some “bad things”  in our lives, He’s working everything always toward His children’s eternal best, as well as His own glory (Rom 8:28), and remarkable blessing can arise from the thanking.

This has already happened with this eye thing.

Not in a flash. Driving home later, repeating Job’s words, “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away; blessed be the name…” I choked up again—and again before bed, as I talked with Husband. But by the time I fell asleep, I was already seeing good that God was doing, and by next evening my tears seemed foolish.

In fact, more heart-blessing arose from what God showed me than one post can tell. So, more later.

2 thoughts on “Giving Thanks or Feeling Grateful?

  1. just in awe of God’s timing, I post and post scripture on facebook hoping God will use it to help someone in need, because His timing is perfect. Table has turned. Thanks Sylvia and Thank You Lord!!

  2. Yes! That is exactly what He does all the time! Thanks indeed, to God–bigtime!

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