“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18
“What do you want me to do, God?” I asked the Lord one morning when I came in from walking the wheelchair dogs.
The day had begun just a few hours earlier, and I should have been refreshed, revived, excited for the day. Instead, after a night of fitful sleep, I was exhausted – and angry. I was run down from over 20 years of caring for rescued dogs, and recently the needs of the last of my 5 dogs seemed to be mounting. That, coupled with years of personal struggle and being out on the road for ministry work which was wonderful but exceedingly intense, well, let’s just say I was beyond wiped out. I was angry over the constant needs of the dogs, some of which were from bad behavior. Most of all, I simply needed rest. I had already earlier asked God to forgive me for the anger and to take it away. Now the anger was back. So I went to the Lord. What did He want me to do? Surely He had a game plan to relieve me of the restless sleep, of the endless dog duties, of anything at all, so I could feel rested and refreshed – and not angry!
“I want you to be thankful,” the Spirit of God spoke immediately.
The last thing in the world any of us humans might have expected the answer to be at that very moment in my life, but God isn’t human. He is God, and He ALWAYS knows what’s best. His will is PERFECT, and there it was. Just what I needed. And something we all need to be reminded of, I believe.
No matter our circumstances, no matter how easy, hard, good, bad, difficult, exceeding, simple, clear, seemingly impossible, exhausting, cause for celebration, cause for mourning, absolutely no matter what, the Lord is clear from start to finish of the Bible on this.
We should be thankful. We may not see in the thick of our trials something we feel we should be thankful about, but when we turn around our thinking, and look to the Lord, first and foremost we should be thankful for HIM. For His love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, peace, hope, for sending Christ to the cross, for His Spirit, for His Word, for food, shelter, clothing, for forever fellowship with Him for those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, for His wisdom, direction, His counsel and comfort, for the promise of heaven for His followers, for the beauty of nature, that He created us, that we can find hope and joy IN CHRIST regardless of what’s going on around us, for the friends He gives us, for His kindness and tenderness, and on and on.
When I turned back to the Lord, and to thanksgiving, the anger fell away. I was restored. To where I needed to be. To where we all should be. To a heart filled with love for the Lord and thanksgiving to Him.
Please remember. Be thankful! To the Lord! For the Lord! And for His countless blessings! Yes!