1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
This year, while in the midst of the COVID pandemic, one may ask, am I really supposed to rejoice and give thanks? We know that we don’t have to be thankful “for” COVID, but yes in the “midst” of the pandemic we are called to give thanks.
As I thought about our situation in these days, I thought back to stories from my mom and dad about living under German occupation in WWII. The German army walked through the Netherlands and took whatever they wanted from the people. My parents both lived with their families in the countryside of southern Holland. My dad, as a young man was forced to drive a truck with sandbags to help keep the dams of southern Holland shored up. My mom was forced to peel potatoes and onions for the German army.
The families of both my parents lived on a few raw vegetables they had hidden in the field. My mom’s family lived on raw turnips for several weeks. Both families were believing families and my parents spoke of thankfulness for safety, for enough food to stay alive and for life itself. Maybe COVID-19, although a bit scary, isn’t so bad after all?
The Bible calls us to be thankful for and content with everything we have. Our family, health, meals we can share with loved ones, and of course life itself – all are precious gifts from the Lord. But discontent, greed, or fear doesn’t allow us to fully appreciate and treasure the precious gifts of life. Turn fully to the Lord and know his provision and protection. And oh YES give thanks!
We don’t know what the future holds. We might have to go through difficult times of having only turnips or raw veggies – or worse. But as the children of God we are assured of his continuous love and care. The Lord himself is our helper in this uncertain, sometimes scary life.
Father in heaven, thank you for being our consistent helper and protector. Give us a heart of contentment and thanksgiving! Through Jesus, your Son, Amen.