“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I woke up on Thanksgiving morning, enjoying those few extra moments in my warm bed, putting off the inevitable entry into the cold air filling my room, just thinking. As I lay there, this verse entered my thoughts.
…give thanks in all circumstances…
The verse doesn’t say, “for” all circumstances, but “in” all circumstances. And I was thankful for that because there have been circumstances that I just haven’t been able to be thankful for…I am not thankful that when I was five months pregnant with twins and full of the wonder and breathless anticipation of what was to come, I lost those little girls, born too early to survive beyond their safe and nurturing homes inside my womb. I am not thankful for the fact that as my husband stood innocently reading a book at the corner of our block waiting for his commuter bus to New York City, a young man tired from a night of partying fell asleep at the wheel and hit my husband resulting in a traumatic brain injury that would change his life, all of our lives, forever.
These are the biggies that have challenged my ability to be thankful for everything. There are lots of little things that I have a hard time being thankful for as well, like the endless laundry, financial struggles, the pain I watch my children suffer as they grow up.
But in all these circumstances, large and small, there is much to be learned and much to be gained. I can see now that the loss of those little babies led me to a faith and trust in God that I would not otherwise have. As my husband heads towards the completion of his doctoral degree, I can be thankful that he is on a path that would most likely not have been followed without his accident. And I can see that it is in the difficult circumstances, large and small, that we can be changed for good.
How about you? Is there something you can think of today, that you may not be able to be thankful for, but you can be thankful in? Is there a circumstance, bad, difficult, challenging, that has changed you for good? I'd love to hear about it.