But God: Giving Thanks in Time of Loss

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 | 2 comments

But God: Giving Thanks in Time of Loss

Giving thanks in times of loss is hard. But no matter what man’s view of the circumstances, God’s plan and purpose reign. Reasons may be veiled in mystery, but they are hidden safe within the powerful love of God. This Thanksgiving, concentrate on the “but God’s” and give thanks no matter what your situation and help others to do so as well. 



2MefromHim Devotionals

But God: Giving Thanks in Time of Loss

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

But God: Giving Thanks in Times of Loss scripture

Thanksgiving arrived two months after my father’s death. We were submerged in shock and grief, all reason for joy and thanks lost in one horrific moment. Struck by lightning under a clear blue sky, it was an undeniable act of God—the God we were supposed to give our thanks.

Holidays are times for families to gather. We had a vacant chair. Our spiritual leader, and protector, the one who made us laugh and pointed us to the goodness of God was gone. Our family was incomplete.

Holidays can be painful. Television, music, and movies portray perfect lives while inadequate budgets, illness, and loss cause seeds of discontent to produce thorn bushes rather than holiday florals. In reality, struggle, lack, fear, grief, and disappointment overshadow society’s myth of perfection.

Americans are experts at sweeping ugliness into dusty corners. However, the horror of hatred, terror, and insecurity arrived at our doorstep with 9-11. Recently, Las Vegas, New York, and Sutherland Springs, hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the California wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and other disasters have reminded us that life is not glitz and glamour. Life is hard, and many families struggle to give thanks this year.

Where do we focus when perfect table settings, overstuffed bellies, and football games give way to grief? How do we offer thanks when reality shoots holes through our dreams? How do we reconcile popular images of perfection and peace with the stark truth of want, need, and loss?

But God - Giving Thanks in Times of Loss meme

Stephen’s powerful speech in the seventh chapter of Acts offers the answer. As he faced death, he spoke of the patriarchs who placed their faith in God when the world stood against them. In the NIV, this passage contains three powerful statements:

Acts 7:5 – “But God promised…”

Acts 7:9 – “But God was with him…”

Acts 7:42 – “But God turned away from them…”

When I feel let down and bereft, the “but Gods” of the Bible hold me firm and enable me to be thankful:

God’s promises are certain.

God is present whatever our situation.

God judges evil.

If Jesus is our Savior, we have reason to give thanks. The world disappoints, but God is forever faithful. He is with us even when it seems all reason for gratitude is gone.

How can we reach out to those who hurt and struggle this holiday season?

© Copyright Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, November 9, 2017

Norma Gail authorAbout the author:

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 41 years. They have two adult children. If you’re interested in connecting with her, you’re to follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon.


Land of My Dreams cover


  1. Thank you Norma, very timely for my family this year.

    • God bless you and your family, Marcie! There’s another one coming tomorrow!

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