Mamas, you know this is true.

Thankfulness. It’s when the kids smear peanut butter into the carpet but you think, “At least it isn’t poop.”

Thankfulness. It’s when the kids poop on the closet floor and you think, “At least it isn’t on the carpet.”

I could just end it there, but that feels wrong, and anyway, the Bible has a lot more to say about Thanksgiving. A whole host of verses comes to mind on Thanksgiving, but 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says this:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

This is a tall order for the people of Thessalonica. We learn from the context that Paul, Timothy, and Silas had traveled to a Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica where they spent time reasoning with the people there from the Scriptures. We can see in chapter one that many came to believe in Jesus, and that they continued to labour in love and hope. Paul uses the word “tribulation” to describe the context in which they received the Word. Tribulation. Persecution. But these people went on to be EXAMPLES in the faith to the believers in Macedonia and Achaia (and to us!).

Paul spends the rest of the letter telling the Thessalonians to excel in love and to live as sons of light, for the day of the Lord is near. Among those instructions he includes this verse about rejoicing, praying, and thanksgiving. For those facing tribulation for believing the Gospel, it is hard to imagine how difficult this would be.

Let me just say that I am not persecuted. Not in the slightest.

But we’re still called, no matter our circumstances, to walk as sons/daughters of the light.

In my story, that sometimes means praising God that it’s just peanut butter….

I mean, I see you, Mama. I’m right there with you. I see the desperation, the longing, the regret, the fear, the questioning, the anger. It is DOWNRIGHT HARD to rejoice, pray, and be thankful. But if the believers in Thessalonica could be thankful in the midst of TRIBULATION, then be encouraged! We can also practice living this way in any circumstance.

I know my illustration of cleaning the floors might be a silly one, but God has taught me a lot about thankfulness when I’m scrubbing floors. For whatever reason, He always meets me there, and for whatever reason, I’ve become a more thankful person in the process. He is so so kind.

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