1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
In last Tuesday's post, I recount, among other things, my husband, Danny's, recent illness and his much needed treatment at our local Urgent Care. He goes on Saturday. By Monday, it's my turn.
Coughing, sneezing, feverish, and, oh, so tired! But, I pull myself together and head out to the doctor while Danny, even though he's not feeling anywhere near tip-top, goes to pick up my daughter, Sarah, and take her to work. Then, he heads off to meet son-in-law, John, at the doctor's office where Virginia has a scheduled appointment; he brings out granddaughter back to the house as her mother and she will be spending the night with us due to the impending snow storm.
Of course, as lousy as I feel, my greatest concern is that we will pass this nasty bug onto Sarah and Virginia. We take all possible precautions while they are with us and keep prayers lifted. By Tuesday night, John is able to leave the hospital safely, and comes to collect them. Until they finally leave, I don't realize how exhausted I am.
For the next two days, I consciously avoid any activities which even hint at strenuous. I lay down when I need to. I drink plenty of hot tea and dutifully take my prescribed medicines.
When Friday rolls around and I need to, once again, take Sarah to work and keep Virginia for several hours, I think I'm up for it.
By the time I return home around 5:00 that evening, all I can do is collapse on the couch. Every ounce of energy has been wrung out of me. Coughing, aching, and miserable, all I want to do is close my eyes and wish all this strength-sapping sickness away.
Then, the verse from 1 Thessalonians pops into my head. What? Give thanks? In all circumstances? Lord, this is a tough one, especially now . . .
But, I reason, if God laid this verse upon my heart, who am I to not give it a shot? After all, don't acts of gratefulness lay the groundwork for a positive attitude? What could be better for healing than that?
As I lay inert, except for coughing bouts, on the couch, these are the things for which I was so grateful at this time:
- Hot tea with honey and lemon
- A comfy couch where I can prop up with pillows and snuggle under a cozy blanket
- Snow scenes outside our windows
- Time to watch a movie with the family
- Cough medicine and antibiotics
- Danny, who continues to fix meals for us, though he is anything but up to par (How does he do this?)
- Prayers and wishes for recovery from Facebook friends
- My foggy head clearing just long enough to write last Friday's post and this one which you are reading today
- Sarah, Virginia, and, stepson, Giovanni, escaping the bug's bite
- God's strength in my weakness which gave me the ability to accomplish that which absolutely had to get done
Did mulling over all these things and giving thanks for each one help? You bet! I stop looking at the glass half-empty and see a glass half-full. The positive outlook takes the reins, lifts my spirits, gives me hope.
Suddenly, the challenge from St. Paul which moments ago appeared insurmountable, is transformed into the approachable. The doable. The necessary.
A practice in which I must engage when future troubles, both large and small, beset me.
How about you? Are you able to give thanks to God now matter what your circumstances are?
Prayer: Father, we know it's Your will for us through Your Son, Christ Jesus, that we pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. Help us to remember that, no matter what trial we are going through, be they large or small, are all in Your hands. You have promised to work everything for good, and we are trusting in that promise, now and always. Amen.