Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving

By: Rachel Martin

To be totally honest I never really understood 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for us).  I mean there is a lot of garbage that goes on in this world and there have been a lot of things that have happened to me personally that have been not so great.  It was not until I moved to a third world country that I really got the meaning of this verse.

Once I came here to Mexico I started to notice how easy it became for me to be thankful for little things. Thanks in large part to the easy going thankful nature of the Mexican people around me.  I was grumbling about our new water pump in our apartment complex. It has cut the hot water supply down to a 3 minute shower (if we are lucky).  My husband pointed out that we had water and that has not always been the case.  Mexico has taught me that nothing is guaranteed and nothing is outside of God's knowledge. I think also being older has given me better perspective. I can clearly look back and see how the things that were horrible in my life always had a purpose. It makes it easier to be thankful for both the little things and the garbage that comes my way.  Being here reminds me to keep my eyes open for the way God might be working.

We recently had squatters move into the house we were going to buy and could not get them out.  We  then we were not able to move into another house that we had hopes for because of government issues.  This type of thing has happened to us 8 times since moving here.  Buying a house seems out of reach.  The other day I realized, while thinking about thankfulness, that God has used me in so many ways in this little apartment complex that I live.  Don't get me wrong I think financially and in many other ways buying a house is still for us some day if God has it.  However if I look at this though the lenses of "what does god have planned" I can't be anything but thankful.

I have been privileged to be able to work and help in a country where this part of my life has become very clear.  I don't always like what comes my way but God did not tell us to "like" everything.  He told us to be thankful for everything.  There is a massive difference there.  We can all acknowledge that things are bad and still be thankful that we even know what good is.   For example: I have found that I can hate the situations that have brought the girls from the restoration home into that home.  I have also found that I can be thankful because now I get to take part in their restoration and and their walk with Christ.  I can also acknowledge that when Christian morals break down, it is the vulnerable that suffer. This is a fallen world and if we "liked" everything it would be a problem.

Thankfulness to God in all things "because it is His will" is just another way to surrender your life to Him.  It is an acknowledgment that He is in control and has plans for your life that you can't see.  It is a delighting in the little things.  It is an enjoyment of the 3 minute shower because you have water.  It is looking at every person in your life and realizing that their journey may have been hard but whatever it was it has brought them to you to love in some way. It is looking for the silver lining and thanking but not necessarily "liking".  In the end it is just admitting that we make crummy Gods and He know's what we need.


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