Culture > Q&A

Giving thanks 1,000 times

"Giving thanks 1,000 times" Continued...

Issue: "Food stamps surge," Nov. 19, 2011

How do you describe One Thousand Gifts? It's about looking for the grace and the goodness of God and beginning to see that He was using all things to conform me into the image of Christ. I didn't have to be afraid of the world anymore because everything was being used to bring glory to Christ.

Do people send you letters asking for advice? Yes, and a lot of those are emails I'd love to answer. My husband says-and he's right-every time I say yes to that person, I say no to my children and my home. So you don't want to see what my inbox is like.

What letters touch you so much that you have to respond? I'm very intentional about responding to women who have lost children, or to women who have lost a sibling. I understand to some extent what that does to a family. ... Women who are in marriages where there is infidelity, I don't know where to speak of that pain. Women who have come out of horrific family stories, and they're struggling with: How can all be grace?

How do you respond to laments? God wants us to lament. That's very different than complaint. Complaint doesn't see the goodness of the character of God. Lament is honest and authentic about the feelings but knows the goodness and the benevolence of God.

How do you respond to questions about the sovereignty of God when there is great pain? I wrestle through this. Can I give thanks in the dark, because if I can't give thanks in the dark, if I can only give thanks in the good, what does that say about who God is? When I can give thanks for the things that make no sense to me, the things that hurt, that is my public manifestation of what I say I believe, which is God is in control, that nothing happens randomly.

He is at work in all things. If I believe He is real, and He is using all of these events in my life for His ultimate good, it may be painful for me in the moment, but it's ultimately to shape me into being more like Christ. I can trust Him.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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