As the Queen of Resilience, I’ve had more than my share of rotten stuff happen to me. In fact, I once started to write a book about everything I’ve endured so others would know they could survive the same things. But, after outlining 29 rotten experiences in 29 chapters, I decided it was too depressing for even me to read!
In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul says, “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live” (MSG).
Well, I got the first one down pat. Fortunately, I’ve learned to put on a smile and get through whatever life throws at me. Not only does it look pleasant, but it also keeps wrinkles away for years!
I’ve even learned to pray. A lot! God and I have this running dialogue. I tell him what’s wrong and he tells me not to worry. Yeah, right. I’m still working on the not worrying part.
But you know, I have trouble thanking him “no matter what happens.” Like when my husband was dying of cancer, or when my son was in jail, or as I was recovering from a stroke. How can I be thankful for those?
Sometimes, I have to wait until the experience is well in the past before I can see its benefit and thank God for what I learned. A year after my husband’s death, I finally learned to thank God for the time we had together and not complain about the time we didn’t have.
Today, we’re living in a pandemic. Toilet paper shortages, limited attendance at church and elsewhere, and many activities put on hold or canceled altogether. How can we be grateful now?
What is there to be thankful for in a pandemic?
- P – Prayer. God is always near, even when our loved ones aren’t. And He listens.
- A – Air quality has improved. At least it did until people started driving again.
- N – Nurses and doctors have dedicated their lives – literally – to help the sick.
- D – Delivery services. When we can’t dine out or shop, it’s good to have an option.
- E – Exercise indoors and out. Even now, we can walk in our houses or along our sidewalks.
- M – Medical research is close to a reliable vaccine, which means a cure for COVID-19 isn’t far behind.
- I – Ice cream! If all else fails, and if your throat is sore, eat ice cream.
- C – Carryout lets us get out of the house and enjoy someone else’s cooking.
So now we know how to “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.” Even when life looks horrible, there’s always something to be grateful for.
What are you grateful for today?