Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In All Circumstances


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.

NOT!

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
  • Rest
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.

14 comments:

  1. Ah, yes.. Me thinks He said this for a reason ..... 😊 that He loves to take those old burdens I insist on trying to carry. And they get sooooo light when I obey. Thank you for such a sweet, gentle reminder.

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    1. Oh, yes, Miz Liz, those burdens do become so much lighter when we choose to obey Him. So glad you enjoyed this reflection, and thanks so very much for stopping by!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Martha, thanks for sharing this. Goodness, it's certainly a challenge to be thankful in all circumstances, yet when we can do so there are great benefits. The benefits of praising God are amazing--there's a book titled "Prison to Praise" by Merlin Corruthers (sp?)--full of testimonies of people who have learned to praise the Lord no matter what.

    I'm still learning to do that and fail more than I succeed, Currently, I'm thankful and praising the Lord that I didn't get hurt any more than I did when I wiped out on some ice last Friday.

    Love and Blessings,

    Kim

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    1. Oh, no! Wiping out on ice??? We almost did the same in the snow we had two weeks before this last storm. So glad you are alright, Kim!
      I'm still learning to praise Him in all circumstances, too. Seems like He laid it all before me during this week of illness, proving to me that it truly does work. I will look up the book you mentioned, too - sounds great!
      Thanks so much for visiting!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. You already know my answer, Martha :-)

    This is the week that starts the ball rolling on all the procedures, and while I pray that any thing that is found can be treated easily, I'm completely at peace if I hear the words "Sorry, but it's back..."; there are a few folks who won't be as OK with it as I am, but we all follow the same Rabbi :)

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    1. Yes, Rick, I DO know your answer. You have learned to give thanks in all circumstances so much better than most.
      I pray with you that all will be well and even better than expected, but we can rest assured our Jesus is with us every step of the way, no matter what.
      Thanks so much for coming by and sharing!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Glad you're feeling better, Martha!

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    1. Thanks so much, Glynn! I am, indeed, in recovery. :)

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  5. It's not really easy to be grateful when we're under a lot of stress or when we don't feel well physically. I'm glad you were able to pause and pray and really feel in your heart what blessings God continues to shower upon you during such times. My prayers for the health of your family! ;)

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    1. It is hard to do at those times, Joyce, but, ironically, it's exactly at those times when we need it most. I was so glad I chose to do this at the time I did.
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I hope that you're well on the way to recovery by now, sweetheart! Respiratory issues can hit so quickly and pack such a wallop. If you're so inclined, visit my FB page and click on my Notes section to look at what I did in January when I contracted flu - it was a life changing experience for me with treating flu and recovery quickly. This isn't any sales pitch, just so you know. It was a personal experience that I have been sharing with many people and they've had good results and quick recovery.

    Beyond that, I so enjoyed your Gratitude List! I make that a regular habit in my journaling and it always proves to be restorative on a spiritual level. I listened to a great Youtube video last night, which is rare for me (I prefer to read, rather than watch lengthy videos) of a motivational speaker that I follow. Her comment that jumped out at me was, "Want to heal something in your life? Go play!" I.e., exist in a joyful state and that energy will become exponential. Blessings and a speedy recovery to you, chickadee! :)

    - Dawnie

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    1. Oh, I love what that motivational speaker had to say! Choosing to live in a state of joy and hope goes so far in healing both the physical and spiritual.
      I'm not at all surprised that you keep an ongoing Gratitude List. :) Also, I definitely will check out your notes on Facebook as soon as time allows. I've been doing lots of granddaughter watching lately, and have not had the leisure to spend time on the internet.
      Thanks so much for visiting!
      Love and blessings, sweet Dawn!

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  7. I hope you are feeling better!! That stuff is nasty and hard to get rid of. There really are things to be thankful in all circumstances!! Bless you!! ♥

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    1. Oh, yes, Kathy, this stuff is nasty, indeed! I am feeling better and am so thankful for that! :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Love and blessings!

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