As the world limps from one crisis to the next and sags under the enormity of problems with no immediate or lasting solutions, I pause and examine the hard places of my own life and recognize again that I have much to be thankful for. I can be grateful, not because a global comparison finds me on the lighter side of the scale of problems, but because the weight of life’s challenges is not the measure by which I determine my thankfulness for God’s goodness and love. God’s goodness does not exist in order to mitigate the fact that life is hard, nor is His goodness increased or diminished in the face of evil or atrocity. Neither is God good only when life is full of blessing and smooth pathways, any more than His love is meted out in direct correlation to how I please or displease Him in my daily choices. Simply put: God is good and God is love. I cannot change these facts of God’s character any more than I merit the grace that extends them to me, unworthy as I am. I am thankful for the constancy of who God is when the world groans under constant upheaval, when the church bends so easily to the winds of popular opinion, when I wither with discouragement and grief. I am so very thankful.