August 08, 2008


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18


My friend Joe got a little red-faced when I asked him about the dent in the hood of his pickup, but he was thankful too. He had cut down an overgrown tree in his front yard, and he'd decided to use his pickup to remove the stump. He wrapped one end of a tow strap around the roots and hooked the other end to the front of his truck. Joe backed up the truck to take up slack on the strap; then he inched backwards. The tow strap stretched and drew taut like a rubber band. Joe thought the root would pull up gradually from the ground, but suddenly the root ball let go and sprang toward him like a cannonball from a giant sling shot. It glanced off the front edge of his hood, flew over the cab, and came to rest behind the truck. Joe took a lot of teasing about that dent in his hood?and he may get a little more now. But he's thankful; we might have been attending his funeral. When trouble comes into our lives, including much more serious trouble than a dented hood, the eyes of faith can see ways in which things could have been worse. God constantly restrains evil from doing worse damage in our lives. Perhaps this is one reason why the apostle Paul commands us to give thanks in all circumstances.

Lord, you bring good into my life. Forgive me for complaining when worse things could have happened. Teach me to see your protective care and be grateful. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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