A Tale of Thanksgiving (Or Giving Thanks In All Things)

Last night, 7:30 PM:
Cannot keep my eyes open. What started as a sore throat Friday afternoon has developed into a full-blown cold.

“Give thanks in all things”, He whispers to my heart.

“Thank You, God, that I can go to bed at 7:30. I have no responsibilities or obligations keeping me up.”


9:30 PM:
Wake up because one nostril is totally blocked. Ugh.

“Give thanks in all things,” He says again.

“Thank You, God, that I can breathe through one side of my nose and that it isn’t totally blocked. Thank You that my throat doesn’t hurt any more. And thank You that it is Saturday night and not a school night.”

10:30 PM:
Wake up when the power goes out. Fan stops. Room quickly gets stuffy. Get up to open window more, wondering when it will come back on.

“Give thanks” my heart echoes His words from earlier.

“Thank You, God, that it is a cool evening and that I can open my window. Thank You that You will help me sleep over the barking dogs, fireworks and other noises, even without the white noise of my fan.”

Sometime later:
Wake up when the power comes back on.

“Thank You, God, that I slept. And thank You that the power is back on.”

4:00 AM (normal wake up time):
Get up to use the bathroom.

“Thank You, God, that it is Sunday so I can sleep in a bit.”

Turn on water to wash my hands – no water.

“Seriously, God?? – Er, I mean, thank You that I have baby wipes to use to wash my hands.”

Crawl back in bed.

5:00 AM
Wake up again, decide it is time to get up.
Stumble up the tile step to the bathroom.
Step in water.
Slip on the tile but do not fall.

Roommate’s toilet is overflowing.

Wait – we have no water and her toilet is overflowing??
Oh – we have a trickle now. Apparently enough to overflow her tank.

“Give thanks in ALL things.”

“OK. Got it. Let’s see…”

Thankful that it was tank water and not bowl water.
Thankful I didn’t fall.
Thankful for tile floors on top of a concrete layer between us and our downstairs neighbors.
Thankful our neighbor, Greg, was up.
Thankful he was willing and able to go wake up Jose, our grounds manager, who is also an early riser.
Thankful that Greg has way more Spanish than I do to explain to Jose what was happening.
Thankful that Jose came to fix the toilet.
Thankful that the towels for mopping up water were close by.
Thankful our washer and dryer are inside the apartment and not downstairs or outside.
Thankful for a (now) super clean floor.
And thankful that Jose also restarted the pump so we have normal water flow.

Give thanks IN all things.

Give thanks in ALL things.

Because ALL things work together for my good and His glory.
Because He is IN the details of ALL things.
And because it is the only way to survive.

6:45 AM:
Still have a head cold.
Still have responsibilities at church in a few hours.
Still have a couple of loads of towels and bathroom rugs to wash.

But I also have a peaceful, happy heart.
A heart that knows He is in control.
That all of these circumstances could be worse.
And that He is using all of them for good.

By His grace – and ONLY by His grace – I have a heart that is “set on things above” and not on earthly things, giving thanks in all things.

Not because I am some sort of super saint.  But because I am choosing to choose thanksgiving.

Because He said to do so.
Because His Spirit gives us the power to do the impossible.
Because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in me.
And because He is worth it all.

So what are you thankful for today?

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