1Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Once a year, American’s pause to give thanks for the good things in life and the blessings they have received. Some even reflect during Thanksgiving to wonder why they are not more thankful throughout the year for such things. But few would even dare to think that giving “thanks in all circumstances” might also involve thanking God when things are not going quite so well. Obviously, Paul is not instructing us to be thankful for misfortune, loss or other “bad” things. That would be somewhat perverse. But a continual attitude of thanksgiving can make such adverse occasions more bearable, especially when we also consider that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28, NIV 1984). Note four key principles, often overlooked:
- In all things, not all things. Think about it.
- Work for the good, not all will be good. Hang in there and watch for the good to come.
- Those who love Him. How’s your love for the Father?
- Called according to His purpose. Are you called? Have you accepted the call?
At the very least, we can be thankful we are not a turkey.
A Thanksgiving Parable – A young man named Joel received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the parrot’s mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. Joel tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything he could think of to “clean up” the bird’s vocabulary.
Finally, Joel was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. Joel shook the parrot (not recommended) and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. Joel, in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the parrot and put him in the freezer (also not recommended).
For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he had hurt the parrot, Joel quickly opened the freezer door.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto Joel’s outstretched arms and said, “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I am sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior.”
Joel was stunned at the change in the bird’s attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, “may I ask what the turkey did?”
My Advice – Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and may God bless!!!!