October 14, 2019

All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Give thanks in all circumstances. . . .

—  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. We give thanks for health, family, jobs, harvests, travel opportunities, and more. Yet some circumstances can bring out other feelings too.

Some years ago, my first wife, JoAnn, desperately needed a lung transplant. In the nick of time, lungs became available, so I reasoned that God was about to give her a new lease on life. I thought surely she would not have to go through this difficult surgery only to succumb to the disease she was suffer-ing (scleroderma). Yet, without leaving the intensive care unit, she died three months after the transplant surgery. I found myself wrestling with God. I was bitter, angry, and certainly not thankful in that circumstance.

Yet the Lord used this text to begin a journey of healing. By God’s grace, I sought to obey this command and was able to thank God for 39 years of marriage, for our children and grandchildren, and for wonderful memories. Because Jesus went through the ordeal of the cross, JoAnn now reigns in heaven with him and is no longer limited by her disease. As I counted my blessings, I experienced God using me to be a blessing to others. I have also been able to marry again. We may never be thankful for things like cancer and other calamities; but even in those situations we can find much to be thankful for as the Lord opens our eyes. God meets all our needs according to the rich blessings we receive in Jesus.

Lord, equip us to be more than conquerors as we experience your grace in all of life’s situations. Amen.

About the author — Gerrit Bomhof

Gerrit Bomhof immigrated as a young child with his family from the Netherlands to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in 1954. He graduated from Trinity Christian College in 1972 and from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1976. He served as a pastor to five churches in Canada and retired in June 2017.

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