Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass ... it's about learning to dance in the rain. I recently saw this quote on the wall of my physician's office, and reading it brought to mind the above-mentioned scripture passage. "Rejoice and give thanks for the bitter cold of today ... pray for the homeless, be grateful for your coat, and rejoice that there will be fewer mosquitoes this summer," I thought to myself.
Life is messy! At times the journey is smooth sailing, wind at our back, blue skies in the distance as far as the eye can see. But every life path encounters bumps in the road, gray clouds, pain, and sometimes even despair. Thankfully, the Christian's joy is not dependent on circumstances.
Constant rejoicing stems from giving God the glory for the great things he has done! In the Christian's walk, Thanksgiving is not a once-per-year novelty accompanied by stuffing and cranberry sauce. We are to give thanks in all things, not some things, not the great and oh-so-wonderful things, but in everything.
Does this mean I was to be thankful my car was totaled last month? Well, I can be grateful that I wasn't seriously injured in the accident. What about the really difficult life circumstances - losing a job, a home in foreclosure, the break-up of a marriage, or the death of a loved one?
I think we would all agree it is more difficult to give thanks with a grateful heart in the midst of sorrow. I don't believe that God is saying to be thankful that something awful has happened. Our Creator God knows we get hurt, lose hope, and suffer grief as a natural consequence of living.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are blessed with a hope that does not disappoint. God promises to comfort us in seasons of distress, never leaving or forsaking us, even in our darkest hours. Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. -Psalm 30:5c
God turns our mourning into joyful dancing! I hope you dance!
Prayer for Today
Loving God, we give you thanks for your never-ending love for us, a love that does not fail. Help us to dance, even in the rain. Amen.