In All Circumstances

Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, we can be assured it’s one for giving thanks amid.

“..give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18


I’m holding on to that as Thanksgiving week is upon us and life is topsy turvy. What I’m not aiming for is some kind of fake-it-till-you-make-it thankfulness. Some kind of magic thankful fairy dust that will cure your doldrums in five easy steps. A faux thankfulness that refuses to look the truth in the face, one that prefers rosiness to reality. Give me thankfulness with grit. And that real gritty thankfulness-in-every-circumstance was purchased for me a couple thousand years ago. It’s potent.

So, where the world sees weakness, I can see beauty. Where the world sees foolishness, I can see wisdom– in Christ, that is. In Him, all of the weak and foolish things hold together and in such a way as to shame the wise. I can give thanks for that.

We meet God in the furnace. I can give thanks for that. As the temperature rises, our faith finds its feet. I look at my clothes and they aren’t even singed. Doesn’t mean fires aren’t scary things. But he’s there.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24

I’ve got a God of peace. With all the tumult that rocks our souls, my God brings peace. Thank you. I’ve got a God who keeps. With all the fears that pierce our hearts, my God keeps my whole spirit, soul and body blameless. Thank you. And he who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Do any sweeter words exist than those? He will surely do it. Thank you.


wpid-Elizaoverherhead.jpgOne thing is clear to me: I’m in over my head in this life. I’m in deep. But that’s right where God put me. He put me way out of my depth. So I’m going to keep peeking through, as in a glass dimly, catching glimpses of Him, giving thanks that he’s faithful, giving thanks for the gifts, giving thanks for the fire.

Plain, Old Thankfulness

Nothing unique or hip about thankfulness. You either are or aren’t. And I’m willing to go on record as “are.”

My older girls surprised me with this yesterday:

They made this sweet wreath of the dead plants that I’ve yet to clear out of the flower beds. Isn’t that just like the Lord? He takes the things we think are dead or wilting or things we’ve simply moved on from in our lives and makes them our wreaths of thankfulness.

So many gifts, so many reasons for gratitude. I’m thankful for these small people under our roof, these incredible creations of the Lord that I get to watch unfold. For a husband who’s kind and a true friend and leader. For family nearby that share love for the Lord and are undeservingly generous. For friends that support, encourage, sharpen and are family, too. These are gifts indeed.

I’m also grateful for the wreath of thankfulness God is weaving in my life made of difficulties, disappointments and roads I wouldn’t choose to travel. They are the mysterious gifts of a loving Father that look sort of ugly piece by piece–dead even–but they’re coming together to form something that I’m very grateful for–nearness to Thee.

“Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
still all my song shall be,
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!”