I love to thank and praise God when life is going well – we’re making money at the shop (The Knitting Nest), the kids are behaving and I’m feeling well without a migraine. When things aren’t working out like that, though, it’s harder to be thankful. I mean, how do I thank God for something as miserable as migraines?
In the first part of the book of Philippians, Paul thanks God that he is in chains for the Gospel. Paul’s life was on the line for Jesus, and he was OK with that. He said that living would be good, but dying even better.
Can I just admit right here and now that I don’t have the faith that Paul has. I’m not sure how I’d react in a life-threatening situation. (Although, I’m listening to The Hiding Place and Corrie Ten Boom often comments on how God gives us the faith that we need just at the right time!)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:4-7
We are told that we are to rejoice in the Lord always. Always. Migraine? Rejoice Fussy kids? Rejoice Uncertainty? Rejoice. But, Paul understands this. In Hebrews 13:15, we are told to offer up to God a “sacrifice of praise”. I am to praise and thank God even when I don’t feel like it.
I also notice in this section of Philippians that the emphasis on what we get from prayer is not the answered prayer (although God certainly does that), but the peace of God that transcends all understanding.
Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in all circumstances. I’ve got insomnia right now – I’m praying for it to go away, but also thanking God that these few hours by myself give me some time to read that I might have otherwise missed.
Honestly, there are a lot of times that I don’t feel too grateful for my circumstances. But, somehow, God will give the grace and faith to give thanks. Don’t be too surprised if you see me write about thanking God for migraines on my next Facebook post! I thank God for the migraines even though I don’t see the whole plan. God is still good even though I don’t understand.
God is God and I am not.