Give Thanks in All Circumstances
Last week I signed up for Medicare. Tuesday, I turned 65. Perhaps surprising to some, I feel incredibly good. In some respects, this is the best I have felt in my life. At 13-14 my back was sore from getting hit playing football. At 28, I was swimming a mile 2-3 times a week, but I feel physically a lot better at this stage of my life. My exercise program now is more comprehensive and my body feels great.
In the weeks leading up to the birthday I have been giving thanks to God for every good and perfect gift. I thank the Lord for my disappointments and challenges, because through it all I see the hand work of God. When I think about my life, on one hand I wonder how did the time pass so quickly. My children are grown and have never caused me any real problems. I watched my eldest son work with his daughter, my granddaughter, at a table in a gelato shop and smiled when I thought about all the nights I made him and his younger brother do their homework while I sat through evening community meetings, political meetings and church meetings. Life has a way of circling around! I feel good because both of my children are doing well, in spite of the “Pick-up game” type of parenting Denise and I suffered them through. On another hand, I smile when I think about every accomplishment, achievement, aspiration I have experienced. I also think about the mountains I have climbed, the valleys I have traveled and the streams, lakes and oceans I have swam. In all things, I see God and what I see is good.
1 Thessalonians 5: 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
Questions for Reflection:
- When has it been difficult for you to give thanks?
- Why do you think it is the will of God for humans to give thanks in all circumstances?
- What is the point of giving thanks when things go wrong and are disappointing?
Prayer: Lord I try to thank you in all circumstances! I thank you in my joy, I thank you in my sadness. I thank you for the people who have been mean and difficult. For it is through their attitude I see your love for my life more completely. I thank you for disappointments because each mountain has taught me to climb higher. It is easy to give thanks when things are going my way. I thank you for every blessing. I thank you for every joy. I thank you for my challenges. I thank you for every success. Though it all, I see you, Lord. I see your goodness, mercy and promise for a better future. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nathan Hood
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Th 5:18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.