A squeal of delight escaped my lips. The double holiday issue of my favorite cooking magazine had arrived! If you love to cook like I do, Thanksgiving and the holidays are a treat. I plan, prep, tweak old favorites and try new creations each year. But in the bustle of planning, shopping and cooking, one thing can get missed-thankfulness. As we begin this last week on our Fall Wellness Journey, let’s pause and be thankful.
I love how Paul phrases this: be thankful in all circumstances. Many of us might not be thankful for all of our circumstances, but we can be thankful in them. The difference between those two words is Jesus.
We all have circumstances in our lives for which thankful is not how we feel. Life is not all under our control and sometimes we need to persevere through challenges and seasons of our lives. In the midst of overwhelming or difficult circumstances, thankful rarely comes to mind. Yet that is what Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians as well as us to do. Be thankful in.
Being thankful in is also is exactly how we can be well, no matter how we feel. Being thankful and being well is not just about our feelings or desires. When we shift our focus away from ourselves long enough to notice, we realize that all of life is intertwined. What is happening to us very often impacts others, whether we realize it or not.
Being thankful in any circumstance is very different from how most of the world would react. When we display thankfulness in a trying time, people see it. They see us being different. They see us having peace and joy in a situation that doesn’t call for it. They see something in us, and that something is Jesus.
Being thankful in any and all circumstances is possible because we have our Savior to cling to. He is always with us, always present, always ready to hear a prayer of need or of thanksgiving. With Jesus living in us, we can get through trying times knowing everything will be ok. We focus on what we need to do, understanding the big picture isn’t up to us. It’s all in His hands. Being thankful and well in each circumstance comes from trusting in God.
Being thankful and well in every situation is not always easy. But I have lived it and have seen others live it. I have seen people in circumstances no one would be thankful for, being thankful in them. I have seen people who are dying but who are also well. To me, that is the definition of being well. Paul describes God’s will for us is being thankful in each moment, even the most challenging. To live that way, every day, is truly how to be well.
As we peruse the recipes, shop, cook and eat a bountiful meal next week, let’s remember to be thankful in all circumstances. Whether a feast or simple meal, an enjoyable day or a bittersweet one, know you can be thankful in every moment. We can all be thankful no matter the circumstance, knowing Jesus lives within us. Be well and be thankful, in Jesus.