“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Meet Nick. In 1982, Nick Vujicic was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Nick has no arms or legs, although he has two small feet attached to his torso. Growing up, Nick struggled emotionally and physically to accept his condition. But today as a follower of Christ, Nick has what he calls "a ridiculously good life."
Nick writes: “When I'm asked how I can claim a ridiculously good life when I have no arms or legs, [people] assume I'm suffering from what I lack. They inspect my body and wonder how I could possibly give my life to God, who allowed me to be born without limbs. Others have attempted to soothe me by saying that God has all the answers and then when I'm in heaven I will find out his intentions. Instead, I choose to live by what the Bible says, which is that God is the answer today, yesterday, and always. When people read about my life or witness me living it, they are prone to congratulate me for being victorious over my disabilities. I tell them that my victory came in surrender. It comes every day when I acknowledge that I can't do this on my own, so I say to God, "I give it to you!" Once I yielded, the Lord took my pain and turned it into something good... He gave my life meaning when no one and nothing else could provide it. [And] if God can take someone like me, someone without arms and legs, and use me as his hands and feet, he can use anybody. It's not about ability. The only thing God needs from you is a willing heart.”
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) We read this and think, ‘All circumstances? Really? What about when I loose my job? What about when my wife leaves me? What about when my husband has an affair? What about when we run out of food? What about when we loose the house? What about when the doctor says it’s cancer? What about when my baby is born with Cystic Fibrosis?’
The Apostle Paul, who wrote this, knew some tough “all circumstances” as well. Hard work, flogged, imprisonments, near death experiences, shipwrecked having to spend a day and night in the sea, whipped, stoned, in danger on every side, cold and naked, and going without food and water very often. (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-29) Yes, all circumstances.
Most of the time it is wrong to compare ourselves to others. But when it comes to seeing how blessed we are and being thankful, then compare yourself. If Nick can give thanks to God in his circumstances can you not in yours? Did you wake up today with arms and legs? Then, praise God! Being grateful is not a matter of focusing on what you don't have but what you do. We all have things to be grateful for. This Thanksgiving "count your many blessings," and see that the Lord is good. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5) What a “ridiculously good life” you have! So, give God thanks.
Prayer: Father we come to you with thanksgiving in our heart for you have blessed all of us in our own ways. Open our eyes so we can see those blessings and bring our thanks to you. Thank you for Nic and his testimony to your incredible blessings. Thank you for our ridiculously good life! In Jesus name, amen.