Give Thanks In All Circumstances Including The Ones You Didn’t Want

Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, had Ruby, his wife, send pictures by computer of the ice storm that hit Melville on May 21. In May, such an uncommon ice storm was mind-boggling to hear about and to see all the broken tree limbs and damage.

When the unexpected happens, we must scramble to deal with the event that we didn’t want but got anyway. It goes without saying that some situations like a tree limb dropped on your car roof means you must deal with it right away. Life happens despite us or what we would like most or least.

Things have a way of turning upside down without warning. Robert Baden-Powell taught that a boy scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances. Extraordinary events force us to deal with them. How we deal with them is our individual choice.

It is hard not to take circumstances personally when you have a flat tire. You need to get it changed. You are the one stuck at the side of the road. It doesn’t do much good to complain or blame the tire because the flat tire does not care what you say about it. Why blame yourself as you have to live with yourself? The damage a storm causes to your property feels like a personal loss and or expense. Storms impersonally pick on people all over the world.

Dealing with circumstances without complaining and blaming is positive, and so is praying and giving thanks even in the most challenging situations. Praying always and giving thanks in all events is a valid way of doing life. I did not dare to say it is easy to pray and give thanks. We all do things that are not easy; some must go to work each day while others have to deal with snippy or smart-alecky teenagers or cranky babies as well as holding a job. It may seem others enjoy perfect or excellent circumstances, but everything is subject to time and change.

Most people have a daily blend of facing what needs doing in the best and worst of everyday life. It is not effortless to always pray and give thanks in all things. Doing so can lead us to rejoice in God’s will for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

We may not control what happens to us when it comes to storms or other situations, but God is greater than our circumstances. God calls us to rejoice that He is on our side and loves us in storm or sunshine.  He, calls us to fix our thoughts on Him in prayer and thanksgiving while cleaning up what we did not break or destroy.

The fact that we have many days without storms should encourage us to pray and give thanks in all situations. Praying and giving thanks is not easier when things turn out good. Jesus met ten men suffering from leprosy who asked Jesus to help them. As the ten went to the priests, they were completely healed of their disease. All were happy, but only one returned to Jesus to thank him. (Luke 17:11-19). Pray and give thanks in all circumstances.

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