Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)
As we in Canada sit around our bountiful tables this year on Thanksgiving Day, it's really easy to give God thanks. Can't you just see it — grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, cousins, sons and daughters — all with our heads bowed, smelling the great foods with rumbling tummies, trying to look like the families in the Hallmark television movies. We thank Him for our food, our health, our jobs, etc., etc. But today's verse from Ephesians tells us to thank Him for all things.
Several years ago I found this rather hard. Should I thank Him for my husband's heart attack and ensuing open-heart surgery? Should I thank Him that he had to take an early retirement from a well-paying job because of his health? Should I thank Him that, in the middle of all this, I, myself, lost my job of 13 years? Should I thank Him that at this time, we had two children in university? Should I thank Him that we couldn't pay our bills anymore? Should I thank Him that we had to sell our home and move to a much smaller, cheaper house? Should I thank Him that my son had to move out of the country to get a good job? Should I thank Him that I began to have stress and digestive health problems?
Yes, yes, and again yes! — because, as He tells us, "all things work together for good". I thank Him for bringing my husband through his surgery with a good result. I thank Him for getting him out of a job that he hated and giving him a good pension for all his years. I thank Him that He gave me a new job working for a Christian man, with fewer hours and more pay. I thank Him for bringing my children successfully through school. I thank Him for giving us just enough money so we could pay our bills, and for getting us away from the materialistic life we were living. I thank Him for a lovely, small house that he chose just for us, that wasn't even on the market. I thank Him for selling our largely-mortgaged home in one day. I thank Him for giving my son a very good job where he met and married his lovely wife. And also I thank Him that my health problems have made me a more understanding person.
This year, when giving thanks around the table, what will we thank Him for?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for sustaining us and bringing us all through our troubles. Let us keep in mind that all things work together for good for those who believe in you, and try as hard as we can to keep our faith. Amen.