It is not very difficult to be thankful for the good things that are happening in our lives.
Thank you God for the job promotion.
Thank you God for this meal that’s before us.
Thank you God for my family.
Thank you God for good health.
It is good and right to praise Him for all the wonderful blessings. For we know that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James chapter 1, verse 17)
But have you ever been thankful for… fleas?
I have recently been on a reading marathon. I’ve been engrossed in books by and about Corrie ten Boom. She was one of many amazing people who opened up their hearts and homes to the innocent people targeted by Hitler’s craze.
There was a moment when they were in captive that kept on playing in my head days after I finished that page. I couldn’t help but smile with Corrie’s sister, Betsie, as she explained to Corrie the reason the guards wouldn’t come into their barracks. The guards never looked twice at Barracks #28 because of the millions of fleas crawling all over the place and people.
Their avoidance gave the sisters the freedom to read the tiny Bible that Corrie had managed to keep with her those many torturous days. They could also softly sing songs together in the quiet of the night. At least, when they were no screams of pain from people being tortured or dying.
Choose to look for the good
It is not very easy to be thankful for hard things that come our way. It surely seems funny to say, “Thank you God for Covid”, “Thank you God for mandates that are segregating people” or “Thank you God that I lost my job”.
We can, however, look for the good in every situation. More often than not, it is in moments of hardship that our faith is strengthen. The Bible does not say be thankful only for certain things or rejoice only during certain times.
The Word of God is non-negotiable about this. 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verses 16 – 18 clearly tells us to, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
While it is hard to thank God for lockdowns, I can thank God for the slow pace of life it’s granted me. Being forced to not do as much helps me see what is more important and what should be appreciated.
A few ladies in my community were talking about how the mandates and traffic lights system rolled out in New Zealand are allowing people to go back to the basics. They reminisced about the good old days where they only went on picnics or to the beach for a day out. Luxurious things during their time like going to the movies or even eating out were not common. Granted, it was a different era, but it brings us all back to the simple things.
God is sovereign
Choosing to see the good and being thankful do not mean Christians are ignorant of all that is going on around us. It has been a hard few years for everyone – Jesus followers included.
Making the choice of rejoicing always is us saying that God is still in control. Praying continually is us trusting a God bigger than any problem we face. Being able to give thanks in all circumstances is us keeping our eyes on Jesus when this world is groaning in pain.
Sift through all the bad as we close the doors of 2021. Just like Betsie, see the good in the millions of “fleas” that have swarmed our year. As we reflect on all that’s happened, take the time to rejoice, pray and give thanks to God.
Mussita Ng is a follower of Jesus Christ from Wellington, New Zealand. Her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mussita-ng.html