We climbed into bed, exhausted with a weariness of the soul that comes from an unexpected burden. The shock of the events of the day left us numb and speechless, but sleep was the farthest thing from our minds when our heads hit the pillows that chilly November night.

We had hurriedly packed our suitcases, loaded with an emotional weight that felt unbearable. We made arrangements for work and responsibilities, and made the necessary phone calls before the early morning journey ahead of us. Somewhere in the flurry and frenzy of the awful news, I believe we must have fed our two little boys their dinner and quickly tucked them into bed.

Tragedy rarely comes with notice.

It has a way of sneaking up on you, jumping out from behind a corner and startling you into a place of raw disbelief. Such was the case that day, learning that the nephew we had expected to welcome within days had been lost. He was born into heaven after a few hours of labor.

We lay motionless, my husband and I, while our minds whirled with all the sadness we were unable to express.

Then, he said the words that would ripple through my heart for years to come.

“What can we be thankful for?”

His startling words broke the dark night. He knows me well enough to read my thoughts, and so he added, “The Bible doesn’t say we have to be thankful for all things. But God asks us to be thankful in all things. I’m just reaching here. But can we find anything to be thankful for to help us look at the bigger picture?”

Read the full devotion here.