"Trust the Lord your God with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
There are times in life when we realize there is no other option but to keep going. No one else can swoop in and rescue you and you're just going to have to pick yourself up and keep moving - whether for your sake, the sake of your children, family, or friends. It may sound a bit strange to be thankful for this, but perhaps it makes sense to those who have been there. You see, once in that place of no option, even depression isn't an option, because you can't keep going if you're depressed. The only option is to keep moving, keep relying on the strength God always provides, keep praying, keep taking the next step. Determination - and sometimes desperation - drive you onward with your head focused only straight ahead on what must be done.
I may not know how things will turn out, or even the step after the one I'm taking right now, but God does, and I can take comfort from that. I have to focus on what is true, and what the Lord requires of me. It reminds me of Proverbs 4:25-27: "Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil."
I must keep my gaze straight ahead on God's truth and trust Him with all my heart, as it says in Proverbs 3:5, and "In all your ways acknowledge Him" (Proverbs 3:6a). I must keep the knowledge of His presence and His work at the fore of my mind to remember my humble place, and be thankful. Lately, I have felt "tested" or even "attacked" in most areas of my life. It is difficult to keep my eyes fixed ahead on the "prize of the upward call" (Philippians 3:14), but if I turn my head toward complaint, I turn it away from Christ - away from hope - and suddenly I seem more important than those around me. I become bigger than even God's will... and while that fool's gold is tempting, if I look closer I can see that fake glitter is anxiety born of a desire to impose my own will upon the world - as if I were as powerful and knowing and wise as God.
Yes, I am thankful for those times when I recognize there is no other option. It is during these times that Christ truly grips me and moves me forward. It is, amazingly, His grace - His unmerited favor - to me to allow these trials in my life. It isn't easy by any means, but most things of worth aren't. Thank you, Lord, for your strength to continue, and please keep flicking my head forward when I glance away, so I focus on You. You are my true joy.