“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote Paul (Ephesians 5:20). Did he really say give thanks for “everything”? I guess, then, that means everything. So easy to say, so hard to do!
But Jesus gave us an example to follow, for He gave thanks in the blackest of circumstances: He gave thanks for the bread and wine that He served His disciples at their last meal before His death. These things represented His own body and blood!
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it. . . saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them. . .” (Matthew 26:26-27, emphasis added)
How could He thank the Father for His own broken body and spilled blood? The only possible way: by looking at suffering and death with eyes that saw from an eternal perspective.
Isn’t it the same for you and me? The only way we can always be thankful is to look at the tough circumstances from God’s perspective. No doubt that’s what the phrase “giving thanks. . . in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” means.
I think that if David, the writer of so many psalms, had lived today, he might have written a praise psalm something like this:
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in the glorious sunshine;
Praise Him in the freezing drizzle.
Praise Him as you drive to church;
Praise Him as you drive to the dentist.
Praise Him in the checkout line;
Praise Him in freeway traffic.
Praise God on the job;
Praise Him on vacation.
Praise Him on payday and as you make the house payment.
Praise God when you open your eyes in the morning;
Praise Him when you can’t shut them at night.
Praise Him for take-out food and elegant dinners.
Praise Him for computers and e-mail.
Praise God when you’re 13
Praise God when you’re 93.
Praise Him in the racket of a family gathering;
Praise Him in the quietness of a lonely room.
Praise God on the CD player and the car stereo;
Praise Him with French horn or drums or kazoo.
Praise Him with your heart and voice---or in silence.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
The day that lies ahead of you, or the one you just finished, may be stormy and overcast. But William A. Ward, a Texas newspaper editor, once said, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘Thank You’?”
(Author, Darlene Sala)
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa Beretz, 518-330-9277