Thanks In All Things
- Tuesday, November 21, 2000
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Some days, giving thanks comes as steadily as the sun rising in the morning. Especially when our grain bins are overflowing with corn and soybeans. Years such as this makes Thanksgiving Day a lot easier, particularly when my mother has us go around the dinner table and verbalize what it is that we are thankful for.
However, I can remember times when I dreaded that grateful ritual because I didn't think I had anything to be thankful for.
There have been years that unsteady health, unanswered prayers and a dwindling checkbook got in the way of my gratefulness. In the midst of all my problems, I couldn't bring myself to appreciate life. I found myself instead asking God how He could expect me to be thankful when my current problems outweighed my happiness.
Fortunately for me, I was challenged by a friend while wallowing in my self pity. "Why do you trust Christ, Marilyn? Is it because you expect Him to always give you what you ask for?"
OK, so it took some tough questions to make me realize that my shallow vending-machine thankfulness needed a work-over.
Furthermore, when I looked at Christ's grateful heart, I saw that even though He didn't jump up and down for joy over someone's blindness or gloat over a person's mental challenges, He did carry an attitude of submission and reverence, no matter what situation came up. Gulp!
That's more than I can say!
I am challenged as I gather around a table of bounty this year. Can I add some depth to my thankful heart and submit to God's will with reverence even when my prayers aren't being answered the way I want them to be -- when our corn crop puts us in a financial crunch, when our best cow gets sick and when the grain truck breaks down for one last time.
That's a big step for me, but the Apostle Paul is right, I do need to learn to give thanks to God in all my circumstances. That doesn't mean I'll be doing somersaults when the corn crop is bad, the kids are sick or the bills aren't being paid. But it does mean that I need to keep my eyes heavenward during difficult times and realize that in the large picture of life, no matter what my day throws at me, I have the assurance that Christ will carry me through, the promises that He will never leave me and the hope of living forever with a God who adores me.
And really, even in the midst of my biggest troubles that's a lot to be thankful for.
Marilyn would love to hear from you. Send her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are you thankful for? Share your thoughts in this forum.
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