Thursday, November 27, 2014

In All Circumstances

I had a moment the other day.

It was 4:00 PM and I was tenaciously trying to get supper in the crockpot (yes you read that right) because it was on my list and, while logic clearly says that 4:00 is much too late to be putting supper in the crockpot, for heaven’s sake, logic is clearly not a part of my life right now, and the to-do list is the only thing that is keeping my postpartum brain from completely falling apart. And while I was in my crockpot frenzy, my normally easy-going 2 week old decided to put on his fussy pants and I had to strap him in the front carrier to keep him calm so I could get supper ready 6 hours too late. And while I was running around the kitchen with an infant strapped to my chest, I heard a cry coming from the living room and walked in to find my fully potty-trained 2 year old pulling off her pants that she had just pooped in. And while I tried to make the least possible mess removing the poopy pants, I glanced out the window and saw my fully capable 5 year old riding her bike in the driveway with no pants on, in full view of all the neighbors who were getting home from work and school at that very moment. 

It was an instance in time when my life seemed epically mundane.

Give thanks in all circumstances.

I am thankful. I am thankful that the half-cooked crockpot dinner means that we have food in our house at all. I am thankful that the tantrums and poop and half-dressed kiddos mean that I have a quiver full of blessings from the Lord. I am thankful that even in my most frustrating moments, things are never as bad as they could be.

But, even though it is good and right to be thankful for these things, it is really not enough. Because, as overwhelming as my moment seemed the other day, it really doesn’t hold a candle to the kind of suffering and trials that make it hard to be grateful. Because there are people who have an empty womb and an empty house and empty dreams. Because there are people who live with excruciating physical pain or unspeakable grief and who cannot even crawl to the throne to utter an “at least it’s not as bad as it could be” kind of prayer. Because there are people in this world who really cannot give thanks for their circumstances.

But that’s not what we are commanded to do anyway.

Give thanks in all circumstances.

I am redeemed. I was lost and blind and dead and enslaved, and my Creator made Himself small and put on flesh and came to this cursed earth to buy me back with His very own blood. I can give thanks for that in all circumstances.

I have a promise. A promise that nothing in this life goes to waste, that God works all things together for my good, that my sanctification is sure and my future is secure. I can give thanks for that in all circumstances.

I have a Helper. He is the God of all comfort, He is eternal wisdom, He is sovereign and wise and good. He directs my path and never leaves me or forsakes me. He is a rock and a refuge, a sun and a shield. He is eternal and immutable and perfect. He is my Father, and I can give thanks for that in all circumstances.

So on the mundane days or the perfectly smooth days (do those exist?) or on the worst day of my life, let me remember this: A heart of gratitude is more focused on the Lord of the circumstances than the circumstances themselves – Because while circumstances are up and down and always shifting, our Father is unchanging and is always good.

In all circumstances.