Give Thanks in All Things

By Todd Hill

I was just looking at my summer Facebook post of our family vacationing in Maine. It is a selfie Ethan took with our family cuddling in the background to squeeze into the little iPhone frame. The gorgeous Atlantic Ocean waves are crashing on the rocks behind us. It was everything you would dream of when considering a trip to Maine – I was very eager to post this picture for the world to see this awesome family experience!

Now it is time to sit down to write this blog post about thankfulness Excuse me for a minute: Karis, stop starting a fight with your brother! Let’s see, where was I? Oh yes . . . thankfulness! Ethan! Stop arguing and being disrespectful to me! I sure would be much better at this thankfulness thing if my life were filled with splashing waves in the background instead of fighting children. Ethan and Karis, knock it off!

The Bible says, “In everything give thanks.” So the roof over my head, and the steady job, and the healthy family – sometimes I remember to be thankful for that – at least around Thanksgiving each year. And then sometimes I experience a work of the Spirit where I can even say thank you for the big failures and the really hurtful times. Because I know that God allows those things in my life as well. But when it comes to this daily grind of fights and arguments and dirty laundry and traffic jams and . . . do I have to be thankful for that?

In 2 Corinthians, Paul gives a rundown of the craziness of his life. His daily grind makes mine look like a trip to Disney World with all-you-can-eat chocolate chip cookies! His experience makes him think he actually might die. So what is his response to this daily insanity? He says, “This was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God.” That actually sounds like thankfulness to me. In fact, he says a couple verses later, “So that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” So Paul’s daily experience makes him rely entirely on God instead of himself and depend on others’ prayers, and leads to thankfulness.

As I remember, right after that picture in Maine, we spent the next hour dealing with a big argument with the kids. Thank you, Jesus, that you take the picture-perfect moments as well as the mundane to daily remind me that I need Jesus and need others! Happy Thanksgiving!