I'll admit it,
I've been having a rough time of it lately.
Some of it is too difficult to lay out here on my blog,
some of it you may know already.
I learned this past weekend, though,
that something I thought was in the Bible...
Somewhere along the way,
I had heard or had been taught
to "be thankful in all circumstances"
or "be thankful for everything."
So when something crummy happened
and I wanted to feel bad about it,
I had in the back of my mind
this little voice saying
"Come now--be thankful."
It was difficult.
It IS difficult to be thankful when something crummy happens...
when someone hurts you
or your health fails
or your van quits
or your vacuum breaks
or you experience a financial setback.
It was confusing to me...
be thankful for someone hurting me?
Be thankful for someone's ill health?
Be thankful that our van is running badly?
I was really struggling with this,
and feeling like "less" of a Christian for it.
This past weekend, though,
it was pointed out to me that God's word
doesn't say "Be thankful in all things".
What does it say?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says
"give thanks in all circumstances," NIV
"in everything, give thanks" NASB
Wow--that's a big difference!
In all circumstances,
which is different than for every circumstance,
or for every thing.
Someone is hurting me?
I can give thanks to my Lord that He will never be hurtful to me.
When my grandma was diagnosed and died of cancer?
I can give thanks that our whole family was able to draw near and around her,
comforting her and each other at that time, and since.
Our van is failing?
I will give thanks that I am an at-home-mom who does not need a vehicle to get to work every day.
I am not going to be thankful that our house is a mess,
but I am going to give thanks that it is because our house is
filled with little feet who make messes.
Little feet like these...
and for sturdy little legs, too.