Psalm 100:4 (AMP)
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!"
This week my heart went out to one our our patients. I knew he was a Christian, but not attending church. As we talked I understood from what he had to say his reasons for not attending church. There was a very painful and difficult event in his life that turned him away from being part of a body of Christ. After the birth of his and his wife's child, there was a diagnosis of a very difficult and critical disorder. The doctors did all they could do and the church joined with the couple to believe together for God's healing of their infant child. Unfortunately, the child died. The pain and loss of their child and unanswered prayer were devastating. He and his wife drifted away from the church as a result of the death of their child. Somehow they felt deep wounding in the process. He asked me about my church attendance and then asked a more intimate question, "How do you see God?" I answered him by saying that much of traditional Christianity believes that God is either in the past or in the future, but somehow have great difficulty connecting with God in the now. I realized that God was leading me, through my words, to speak right into the intense pain that he had been feeling for quite some time.
The verse says bless and affectionately praise His name. It also ties together the entering of the house of The Lord with thanksgiving. I would conclude that it is about God being in the midst of His people and as Psalm 100:5 (AMP) says For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
I do not have an answer for what happened to that child. The one thing I do know, God is good and loving and faithful and He never changes. Situations such as this one I have described to you are too painful and too deep for quick and rehearsed responses. Yet I believe in this thanksgiving season the invitation to us still stands. In spite of our circumstances or what we have been through, to practice thanksgiving in every circumstance. I know God is not evil, neither does He do evil and because of that, I can confidently trust Him and know that out of His great love, He will see through all our circumstances to the end result that thanksgiving and praise comes from our hearts.