We were sitting inside a little mud hut holding the hand of a man dying from AIDS. The health worker that accompanied Paul and me to see this man, stooped down to give him two aspirin to help with the pain. That was the only medication he had taken in days because he had no access to medical care. We asked him how he was, but he couldn’t speak because he had a growth the size of a golf ball on his tongue. We bowed our heads in that oppressively hot mud hut and prayed that God would help this dying man. He smiled at us and mouthed the word “thanks.”
The Bible says in 1Thessalonians 5: 18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It doesn’t say that we are to be thankful when things are going well, no, it says, “in all circumstances.” As humans, we have a tendency to complain when situations or the circumstances of our lives are not as they should be, but the Bible exhorts us to be thankful in all circumstances, because that is God’s will for us. There is an old children’s song that says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done…and it will surprise you what the Lord your God has done.” When we do stop to count our blessings, it is amazing how much we do have to be thankful for. So instead of complaining about what we don’t have let us stop and thank God for all the good things we do have.
The man we prayed for on that humid day was poor, alone and his health was gone, but he was thankful that we had taken the time to visit him and pray for him. In the midst of his pain he smiled at us and said "Thanks." Whatever the circumstances of your life are at this moment, I encourage you to have a thankful heart. Start by thanking God for the blessings He has already given you - family, food and another day to live.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,