“Be thankful in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
A good friend of mine was admitted to the hospital yesterday. She has a rare disease and her future is uncertain. She is being monitored for some critical complications to her autoimmune disease that are life threatening. I saw her today. She looks good on the outside, but has a proverbially ticking time bomb in her body that could theoretically change her situation. I prayed for her so much yesterday and in the night every time I woke up. I want her back to her full potential. I want her to be healed from this awful illness.
A few moments ago, this woman posted on social media. Her message was “Dear God, I want take a minute not to ask for anything from you but simply to say Thank you for all I have”.
In spite of illness, reduced mobility, an uncertain future, this is a woman who can still find hope in the midst of her struggles–who can still be thankful for the good things that are there with her. Who instead of asking for a miracle, or people to pray for her has instead expressed her gratitude for what she has been given! I am humbled by this.
But this inner strength that provides my friend with this deep sense of gratitude for family and friends who rally around her, does not come from trying hard to muster up the energy to “be grateful”.
Have you ever heard people say ” well you should be grateful! Look at what you have compared to other people.” As hard as we might try to ‘be’ grateful, it isn’t easy in our own strength.
But for those of us who are children of the most high God, beloved children of the King of the universe, we receive the ability to give thanks in all circumstances. That does not come easily without the sustaining relationship that is part of the covenant God has made with each of us.
No matter what our circumstances, we can be grateful that God loved the world so much that he chose to send His precious son to take on flesh, to be our Savior, to bear our sins even unto death on a cross. That gift given to each one of us assures us of life beyond this life- in heaven with Jesus forever.
So for my friend, for you and for me, we can give thanks in ALL circumstances. Thanks be to God!