Driving home this evening, I was rehearsing the day with the Lord, as I often do. "Lord, I am just speechless. What a mess!" I prayed. In that instant, a verse I've quoted innumerable times to people in difficult circumstances came to mind.
in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB)
This verse is easily misunderstood. People tend to think that "everything" is the God's will part of the verse. Actually, it is the "giving thanks" that is His will. There is another thing we often overlook. In the "everything's" of life, God doesn't want our suggestions, nor does He need them. What He wants, well actually instructs us to do, is to give thanks regardless.
Giving thanks took a few seconds, but soon my heart and mind were flooded with thanks for all the things that we'd been spared, all the ways that the people I love had been blessed in the midst of their trouble. The list of thanksgiving was considerably longer than the number of texts I'd received.
There's something else people tend to miss about this verse. Giving thanks in the "everything's" of life puts us right into the midst of God's will for us, and there is no better, no safer, place to be.