“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:20 NLT (http://bible.com/116/eph.5.20.NLT)
This verse gives me pause. “…give thanks for everything” …??? Surely God doesn’t expect me to give thanks for the physical pain men have caused me, or the emotional Rollercoaster of hurt and anguish my life has been? Certainly He means for us – for me, to be thankful for the rescues and the good things that have happened, and for all of the blessings I have received, Right? I think; I know differently. God doesn’t stutter, and He doesn’t give Words of confusion in His Book. “And give thanks for everything….” That’s is clear and succinct; no need for confusion or interpretation. “Everything” is all inclusive.
What do I do with this? It’s so easy to sit here on my back porch with a blanket and a little dog on my lap and be thankful for what I have here. (He was quite insistent that we go outside!) Even though it’s a cool, foggy and misty day, I’m thankful. I have a beautiful home, and a dear partner to share it with. The dogs and cats and my therapy hens (yes, they are my entertainment and a source of joy) are easy to be thankful for. My best friend lives down the street, I have family in the area, I have food and clothing and shelter. I have much to be thankful for! These are the easy things.
By this command of my LORD, I am to be thankful for everything, not just the easy stuff but the ugly stuff, too. Here goes.
LORD, thank you for the bronchitis I’m dealing with – frustrating as it is to have sick for so long (and I’m especially thankful for my caring doctor who is determined to get me well!). Thank you for releasing me from my job, and for the financial instability that is accompanying that loss. LORD, it’s really difficult to acknowlege bad things as things to be thankful for!! Thank you for the difficult bosses and coworkers I’ve had. I’ve actually learned quite a lot from each of them. Thank you, LORD, for the men who abused and terrorized me. Thank you for the homelessness I have experienced. There is so much more….
As I write this, and think of some of the things I have experienced so far in this life, I’ve come to realize that out of every painful, dark experience, I have learned something and sometimes something good came out of them. At the time, all I could see was the dark, and it’s dense intensity and fear. Through the abuse, I have a testimony that there is hope. God has never left me alone at any point in my life. I couldn’t see Him or feel His presence much of the time, but He never forsake me. Where would I be now, and what would I be, if my life hadn’t progressed the way it did? I’ll never know, and it really doesn’t matter, because without every single one of the pieces, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Who am I? I am the daughter of the Most High King! Can you say with any clarity who you are?
“But I trust in Your Unfailing LOVE. I will rejoice because You have rescued me.” – Psalms 13:5 NLT (http://bible.com/116/psa.13.5.NLT)