"A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in God, my savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations.
He is my refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble."
This month I met a little boy, Yves Adler, who at the age of 20 months weighed just 17 pounds. His body was completely swollen as the result of being severely malnourished. This little boy barely had the energy to sit. He was immediately placed in our malnutrition program and was provided with the needed nutrition (whole milk, fortified rice/beans, and Plumpy Nut, a fortified peanut butter for severely malnourished children). For days I couldn't get rid of the sensation of what it felt like to hold his little lifeless body in my arms. My fingers literally enclosed the spaces between each of his ribs. His mother tried to fight for him. She tried to be brave and she did everything we asked. In the end, Yves Adler was too sick. His body wasn't able to recover and he died in the hospital. His mother called me to let me know about his death. The only words that I could say to her was that I was praying for her. I told her I know she was a great mother and that I know she loved her son.
I guess in my mind, choosing to be thankful was simply covering up how I really felt. In order to be thankful I would have to lie about how I'm honestly feeling. I would have to make up a pretty story to cover up the truth. And the truth has shaken me. Honestly, I just want to be angry at the level of injustice that keeps hitting me in the face. I want to scream. And yet, during my quiet time God used my devotional to let me know that where I'm at is OK. That being thankful isn't simply glossing over the reality of life, but rather it's more about looking for Him in the midst of it all. Because He is there. In each and every detail of Yves Adlers story, He is there. I am thankful that God allowed Katherine and me to meet Yves Adler and his mother. I am thankful that He allowed us to encourage her and help her fight with dignity for her son. I am thankful that even though Yves Adler didn't live, his mother was given a chance to provide him some type of comfort in his last days. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my Savior who now holds a resting Yves Adler.