Last week. as I cleaned the toilet and mopped the floors and folded the [wrinkly] shirts that were sitting in the dryer, I thought about how blessed and privileged I was to be able to do these things.
The specific reason I was feeling so blessed was because I was thinking about the Miller family in Ohio. This family of 12 recently lost their entire house, belongings, and everything to a devastating fire. Their three-story house completely burned to the ground within an hour. An HOUR. Everything gone. They all got out of the house safely, and I know that they are grateful for escaping with their lives. However, losing your house and momentos and personal belongings is tough. Stuff is stuff, but it is still a huge loss.
None of us wish for that type of situation to happen to us, do we? Of course not. However, it’s so easy to take our blessings for granted when we have them. Only after they’re gone do we remember how much we did have to be thankful for. So how do we remember to be grateful now, before we are without?
I find it interesting that the Bible references giving thanks and gratefulness so much. Obviously God knew we’d have a problem with this, and sprinkled lots of reminders for us throughout His Word.
“In everything give thanks”, He tells us in 1 Thessalonians. Everything?!
I’m supposed to give thanks for my sick body, dwindling bank account, less-than-ideal work situation, false accusations against me, the harsh words from my father, the pain of being misunderstood…?? (You replace the example scenarios with your own)
Yes. And no.
Maybe you aren’t at the point where you can honestly tell God, “Thank you for my sickness…” or “Thank you for those harsh words that hurt me.” But, you can find something in the situation to thank God for. It might be hard to see or find any good at all in the midst of the pain. I totally get that. It might take alot of faith and trust to be able to thank God in it. But I firmly believe that it is possible.
Maybe instead of thanking God for your sickness, you could thank Him for the character He is building in you through it. Or you could thank Him for the way people have stood behind you in support and the ways they’ve cared for you. You could thank Him for all the times of health He’s given you in the past.
Maybe instead of thanking God for the harsh words, you could thank Him for the way He’s faithfully carrying you through the pain. You could thank Him for the caring people that you do have in your life.
Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m not at all advocating that we become people who are hypocritically thanking God for every single thing. We are told to give thanks in everything. Not for everything. I believe that in every situation or circumstance, there is always something to praise God for and a way that we can tell Him thank you.
What do you think?