Driving home from a yummy Thanksgiving dinner with family, we turn down the road to our home when, SMASH, we get rear-ended by a truck and trailer. A total of seven people from both vehicles had their evening interrupted. Fortunately, no major injuries occurred, but there is still pain felt in all other areas of life.
Trying to get our family of five, with three children too young to drive, to their activities with only one compact car. Missed time from work going to doctor appointments and follow-up visits. Fighting with the insurance companies.
Our van is an older model with over 150,000 miles, so the insurance company will likely total the vehicle than have it repaired, even though we specifically got it because it had a roof rack and “entertainment” package (including a DVD player) for those long trips. We won’t be able to find another vehicle with those features or in that good of condition for the amount we will receive in the settlement check.
And throughout all this pain and suffering, I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:18: Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (NLT). Or Ephesians 5:20: And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (NLT).
Seriously, though… give thanks for everything? Be thankful in all circumstances? Certainly, Paul didn’t mean in this circumstance. Maybe he didn’t own a chariot, or if he did, it was never destroyed by someone else. If he had owned a chariot, I’m sure he would have written these verses differently.
Or would he?
When Paul wrote Ephesians, he was most likely in chains and in a jail somewhere. His crime? Being a Christian. So maybe he would have still asked us to be thankful for everything and in all circumstances.
And I think he is right.
Tomorrow, I will be talking with a pediatrician, but I could be talking with a surgeon. Later this week, I will be meeting with an insurance adjustor, but I could be meeting with a funeral director.
Yes, we are down to one vehicle for a short while, but it will only be a short while. I have a friend who doesn’t own any vehicles. I’ve seen it said that less than 10% of the world’s population even own a single vehicle, so I am certainly thankful to have a vehicle, let alone two.
Take a look at your circumstance for a moment. We all have good parts of our day, and other parts that aren’t so good. Focus on that “not so good” part and ask yourself how you can give thanks in that circumstance.
It can be easy to praise God when things are going well. Be intentional of finding things to be thankful for in the difficult times. What can you give thanks for today?