In a few weeks many across America will sit down at a table overloaded with food for Thanksgiving dinner. At times like that it is easy to say thanks when we look at the table and see fluffy potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, and even Aunt Bertha at the other end.
But what about in the other times. The times when the money runs out before the month does, when lying in a hospital bed, or kneeling at the freshly filled grave of a dear one. It’s not as easy when the doctor gives a devastating diagnosis, or your child will no longer talk to you. But Paul gives us this challenge.
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thess. 5:17
Was Paul an idealist without his head based in reality? I don’t think so. Paul was acquainted with both the life of ease, and the life of hardship. He experienced both adulation and the whip. But through every circumstance Paul was able to be thankful. Think of Paul and Silas as they sang in prison.
A teenage boy may be very thankful when his dad gives him a set of weight lifting equipment, but has a harder time expressing thanks as he sweats and aches through an extreme workout. But like the weights God uses the experiences that come our way as teaching tools and building exercises, to strengthen our dependence on Him, and develop our characters in ways that a life free of problems would never accomplish.
This Thanksgiving season, may our voices be raised in thanks, being grateful for God who leads us each step of the way, who never leaves us, or allows us to go through more that what we and He together cannot handle.
Mike Edge, President