By: Katie Muzos Frederick
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NRSV)
Shortly before a good friend of mine was to have a kidney procedure that would lead to the removal of a kidney, she learned that her dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. When she told me about her dad, I could hardly imagine what she must have been going through – what shocking and devastating news. Here she was preparing for her own major surgery and then to hear about her dad’s serious diagnosis. How totally unfair.
A month or so later after her surgery, we were talking about how she was recovering and I asked about her dad. To my surprise, she seemed to be coping fairly well – a lot better than I think I would. She told me about the treatment he had started and said her dad and stepmom were choosing to focus on the positive; they told her they didn’t want to hear any negative talk.
I wondered to myself if that was the best approach and how realistic it was, but then she said, “You know, we’re supposed to give thanks to God all of the time, not only when things are going well, but when things aren’t.” How true is that?! It was powerful.
I’ve been reflecting on her words and this scripture verse from 1 Thessalonians, and it has changed my perspective lately. I encountered Christ through my friend’s witness of her faith. She reminded me that faith isn’t dependent on how things are going. Despite our circumstances, we can choose to give thanks to God.