It’s been a while. Thanks to those of you who have reached out through the website to check-in. I have been ill (not COVID-19) for almost two months with something that began after I donated blood in September. It has been quite harrowing, especially these last three weeks.
During these weeks, as my physical health broke down, so did my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I have struggled to find gratitude in this pit. I have struggled to find joy. Frankly, I have struggled to find Jesus at times.
This morning, as I sat with pen and journal, I determined to write five things I am grateful for right now in the middle of this trial. As I began to write, and my list flowed to fifty – I realized I was experiencing a breakthrough.
Gratitude can do that, can’t it?
And because of the power of thankfulness (it is Thanksgiving month after all), I thought I would repost a blog I wrote during yet another harrowing trial in my life. The message from 2016 and the scripture speak to me in my current pit and I pray it will do the same for you in yours.
May the Lord bless and keep you in these turbulent times.
Thankful for it or Thankful in it? June 28, 2016
Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 BSB
“Remember, God tells us to be thankful for every circumstance like it says in 1 Thes. 5:18.” These words came in the form of a text, the day after I received terrible news. My well-meaning friend was being a well-meaning friend. However, her words left me unsettled.
I was not thankful for this trial. Not at all. Still not.
In this verse, are the words “in” and “for”. It says to be thankful in my trial/circumstance, for this is God’s will. Maybe my theology is wonky, but my interpretation is: we may be thankful in our trials but not necessarily for our trials.
So, how does this look? How do we follow God’s will according to 1 Thessalonians 5:18 when faced with tragedy, betrayal, loss, and pain?
Let us dig deeply for the fruit in the midst of our agony and thank Him for it. Even in the worst of times, there are precious blessings if we intentionally look for them. This is how we get and stay thankful in the dismally deep waters of our circumstances.
I found riches in my pain: God has loved me through friends as I’ve never experienced before. I’ve learned the power of vulnerability in seeking help. My trust in the Lord has increased as has my thirst for His Word. AND! I now know that one can survive for days on only Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Saltines.
My journal pages are word-full of the treasures I have found in my trying circumstances. The pages crinkled by my tears. Maybe someday I will be thankful for it. but until then, I press on with my Jesus. For Him, I am always thankful.
~How can I thank God in this trial?
~Where do I see His fruit in my pain?
~How can/will this circumstance broaden my trust in God?
How rich we are in Your love for us. Lead us to find the fruit in our pain. Today we chose thankfulness in it, knowing this is Your will for us in Christ Jesus.
Sue Spivey says
Thank you for this timely post. I am sorry you are going through these things with your health. My husband and I tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. We don’t know anyone with it, and we wear masks everywhere. We thought we were being “careful.” But I realized I can be thankful IN it because God has sent neighbors and friends to the store for us. Every day family and friends check in with us, letting us know they are praying for us. That they care. And that even though isolated, we are not alone. ❤️
Kristin Saatzer says
Wow. I sure am sorry to hear that you guys have COVID! I am grateful you are not alone and have such a wonderful support system . Take care of yourselves and I will pray for you.
The timing of this is perfect as we are shutting down here in Oregon again. I am going to look for the blessings each day like the beautiful sunrise and my adorable pups snuggling by the fire as I read this. And I’m always thankful for YOU and the way you have continually pointed me toward Christ my entire life. I love you!
Kristin Saatzer says
I’m so sorry about the shut downs.
Thank YOU for your love, support, and prayers during this rough time in my life and ALWAYS! xoxoxo
Karen (your Mama) Slusher says
I usually begin my prayers by thanking God for all the loved ones in my life. From there I usually ask Him to open my eyes and heart to the many ways to be thankful in this challenging time and the insecurity of the future. Being reminded that He is always with us through every” IN” keeps me thankful and blessed.
Thank you Kris again for your heart felt words of encouragement and sharing as you remind us that all of this is in His hands. You are a blessing to me.
Kristin Saatzer says
I love that you start your prayers that way. I am going to do that too. You are a blessing to me and I love you so very much. xoxox