“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 lay curled up in a fetal position in my bed. I had no desire to get up and face the world. My daughter had been missing for a month with no calls, letters, or texts.
I was too tired and weary to pray or ask others for help. In the farthest corner of my hurting heart, I felt my faith seep out. “She is okay and will come home” a voice resonated in my head. My fear and anxiety melted enough for me to sit up and gasp for air. I immediately lifted my arms in prayer and thanked God.
I am to praise Him and give thanks in all circumstances. The good, bad, beautiful, and ugly reality we call life. Simple words to say which I have experienced repeatedly, and it became a part of who I am.
I believe in order to freely give thanks for all in my life, I must accept God’s will and believe His will is best for me. Even when I don’t FEEL like it is the best option. In surrendering to Him I have given myself the opportunity to live this life with assurance and peace. God gives me peace in Him because I choose to give Him the gratitude for my daily existence.
It is easy to give God the glory in the awesome moments such as a healthy baby, job promotion, or a Dallas Cowboys win. What I have to remember is to default in praising Him when there is the disappointment, pain, and utter sadness. In those instances, I have to choose to worship Him, see His control, and find the nugget of comfort and peace.
When my father passed away two years ago I was able to give thanks in the midst of my grief. I was so blessed to have had a father who loved his children and grandchildren and who wanted to be surrounded by his family. It also warmed my heart as I witnessed dad’s relationship grow with God. I have no doubts where he is today. My dad had a great life and he shared his blessings with me. I miss him, his phone calls, his wisdom, and his dry, weird sense of humor. I am thankful for the years I had with him and give God the glory for allowing our time together.
When Paul wrote to the church in Colosse, he mentioned as one of the rules for Holy living, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”- Colossians 3:17 NIV. He would go on to mention giving thanks to God several more times in many of his letters to the churches. In all I do, good and bad, it is who I am, and God is the one to thank.
My daughter did return five weeks later and a few days before Christmas. I knew in my heart she was okay and she would call and want to come home. It would be a start of many painful and therapeutic years, but it was all a God thing and I give Him the praise. I am blessed to have a close relationship with my daughter today and I give God the accolades.
My prayer is for you to live in thankfulness for all of your circumstances. I wish all of you a blessed and heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving.