Being Thankful…and not just for the good stuff

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

This time of the year, it is commonplace to hear many people giving thanks for the food on our tables, the family that has gathered, or even for a short line while checking out at the local box store…

What you don’t hear very often, and what some people tend to forget is to give thanks for the things in our lives that upset us or make us mad. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of the same thing.

I can remember one day, very early in my marriage where I was supposed to head out around 6 am to go to my grandparents. I slept through my alarm and when I woke up I was furious. I was now running behind and had to rush through everything to try and get things done on time. What I didn’t know until later was that, had I left at the time I planned, I would more than likely have been involved in a tractor trailer roll-over accident. Instead I was re-routed around the accident and arrived safely.

At the time, my faith was not what it is today. I didn’t think much of it other than I was running behind. Looking back, I realize that sleeping through my alarm wasn’t a bad thing…in fact, I now realize that God stepped in to ensure my safety.

Perhaps it’s something small…especially at a family function…that is upsetting you. Take a moment and step back, if not immediately then later that night, and think about what you may be getting or learning from the situation. Perhaps God is helping you to strengthen your patience and your kindness. Or, perhaps, the person that is getting “on your last nerve” is going through something significant in their life and this is a small side effect of their stress.

Give thanks for all things, the positive and the not-so-obviously positive. He has a plan for each of us and in the end, we will come out of it stronger and our faith will be stronger.

Lord God, thank you for all that you have brought into my life…no matter how much I may complain about it. I am trying, I am learning as I go. Thank you for being understanding and patient with me and for leading me down the path that you know I need to follow. Amen!