Thinking about Thanks
1 Timothy 4:4, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,”
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Did you know “think” and “thank” have the same root word? Our forbearers knew that when we stop to “thank” God we are better able to “think.” And, when we stop to “think” we cannot help but “thank” God.
In her memoir, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom explores the concept of expressing gratitude in every situation. This powerful lesson became relevant to Corrie and her sister, Betsie, during their harrowing confinement in Ravensbrück, a World War II concentration camp. Amidst the deplorable conditions of their barracks, Betsie prayed for guidance on how to endure the torment of lice infestation. With unwavering faith, she told Corrie that God had already provided the solution. The answer was hidden in First Thessalonians 5: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus." Betsie and Corrie decided to offer gratitude for their surroundings within the squalid Barracks 28. They gave thanks for the noxious air, the suffocating press of people, and, astonishingly, even the lice. It was only later that they unraveled the baffling reason behind the camp guards' reluctance to enter their barracks: the lice infestation had rendered their living quarters undesirable to the guards. This allowed them the freedom to host Bible studies and worship together. Because of this freedom, many women came to know Christ and the peace that only he can give.
Stop to think about what you can thank God for today, the specific blessings in your life. Now think of something for which you might find it difficult to thank God (like Betsie thanking God for the lice).
God, thank you for the blessings in my life, even in the midst of troubles. Your grace and love sustain me; I am truly grateful. You surround me with your presence and guide me through countless situations. In Jesus' name. Amen.