Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giving Thanks

Uh, wait. What do you mean 'in all things?' Sounds like some sort of communist plot or alien mind control experiment. Be thankful when I'm having a headache, a root canal, aches in the knee, and that occasional foot n' mouth thing I do? Our circumstance is not always exactly what we listed in our daily prescription for happiness. Oops, sorry, communist plots are passé, the terror du jour is, uh, well, terrorist plots. I'm supposed to be thankful for terrorist plots too? Perhaps the idea isn't to be thankful for the plot itself, but to be grateful that God is good in all things.

We tend to think that we must be thankful for the thing in that verse about gratitude in all things. I think that our gratitude must go in the right direction. I am not thankful for auto accidents. They cause too much pain, misery, and death. However, I am thankful for the goodness God can bring from such a horrible event. We are not grateful for the devastation wrought by a hurricane, but that God is still good and will bring forth a renewal and rebuilding. We are not grateful for the separation of death in this life, but for the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the promise of reunion in Heaven. To be thankful in all things is to remember God in the midst of terror, pain, misery, strife, and the other bad things this world has produced.

An attitude of thankfulness in these times is not easy. As in all things, we are weak in our own strength but strong in Christ. The Spirit reminds us that this 'thing' is not God's plan for eternity, but just a little training period we must endure. God does not want us separated by death; He wants all of us with Him in eternity. We can be grateful for eternity in Christ before God our Father. We need not be grateful for death, but we can thank God for the resurrection and the life that follows. As we endure all things, we look to God and thank Him for His providence, grace and love.

Thank you, Lord, for the rejoicing of this Thanksgiving week!

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