“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The news channel warned us a severe storm was on the way. We were still newlyweds and had only been in our first house for a year at this point. As the thunder, lightning, and rain ferociously bombarded our neighborhood that night, we were thankful that God had kept us safe, dry, and warm.
The next morning, I decided to walk around our house outside, checking for any roof damage. There were a few fallen limbs scattered throughout the yard, but other than that – everything seemed to be fine. Later that day, my wife noticed an odd discoloration on our kitchen ceiling directly over the stove vent. She suggested it might be a good idea to check all the other ceilings in the house. So, we started our scavenger hunt, hoping we wouldn’t find any more potential water leak sites from the storm. To our chagrin, this wouldn’t be the case! As we entered the bathroom, there it was before us: a water leak coming from the bathroom vent – a steady, monstrous drip. However, this wasn’t your ordinary leak. The water was dripping directly into the toilet below the vent! Talk about an easy clean up! No towels or buckets required!
After our discovery, I went up into the attic searching for any noticeable water damage. The only damage I found was a small opening around both the kitchen roof vent and the guest bathroom roof vent – both leaks flowing together seeping through the guest bathroom ceiling vent, dripping directly into the toilet – it was like a complicated maze you would find in a board game! The next day, after things had dried off, I plugged both openings in the attic with some caulk and called it a day. It’s the easiest leak I’ve ever had to fix to this day! Now let me ask you something: was I thankful “for” this leak in the attic, dripping down into the guest bathroom toilet? No – of course not. Did you notice Paul’s words in verse 18 above? “Give thanks in all circumstances”, not “Give thanks for all circumstances.” What’s the difference?
What Paul is saying in this passage and what we need to be reminded of with the holidays upon us, is that things could be a lot worse. We are what we are by the common and saving grace of God (1 Corinthians 15). The leak in my kitchen and bathroom both could have easily burst through the ceiling, causing serious damage, so, no, I wasn’t thankful FOR the water leak, but I was thankful IN the situation that God, in His boundless mercy, provided, blessing me and my wife. Spending time with family over the holidays can always be challenging. We all have our unwritten expectations, plans, and anxieties, but this year, put all that aside and be thankful for the situations and circumstances God has placed you in. You may not be thankful FOR them at this moment, but let God show you HOW and WHY you should be. We can “rejoice always” because the greatest gift to all those who believe in Jesus Christ is eternal life, and that friends, is what the holiday dinner conversations should be about – not only for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter – but every day of the year!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.