1 Thessalonians 5:16-18-“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
My family had gathered at my parents’ house while my dad was slowly leaving this earth for his permanent home with Jesus. As they minutes ticked away, I sat there watching his labored breathing and thinking Lord please take him now, he has suffered enough. As I prayed, a voice whispered in my head, “Give thanks in all circumstances”. I immediately changed my prayer from taking him, to thank you for allowing me these last quiet moments with my father. I was in awe at how I could change my prayer (and honestly mean it) and feel the love of Jesus fill me up. It was at that moment I lived this scripture.
It is way too easy to plug along in life and when something terrific happens, we throw up our hands and PTL (praise the Lord!), and then when tragedy falls on us, we pray fervently for a better outcome. God wants us to praise Him and give thanks in ALL circumstances and we have to practice this on the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly. It is one thing to send out praise when I did not get the promotion at work because I know God would open another door. It is another concern when my father was terminally ill and giving God the glory to have loved and known him as my Dad.
Not simple, not easy, but necessary. I remind myself this world is temporary, along with the relationships, material items, money, entertainment, and food, to be enjoyed in the now but not forever. I have to set my eyes on my eternal future, where I will forever dwell in the house of the Lord with my loved ones and forever experience love. All experiences here on earth mold and shape me for my future endeavors, and it is my faith and hope in God’s word which tells me to give thanks in all circumstances.