In All Circumstances

"...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 
 I Thessalonians 5:18

It's Thanksgiving day. My brother is deployed. My toddler & I have the flu. We're missing out on family traditions and togetherness.


My mother-in-law fell down all 12 of her basement stairs and landed on her concrete floor. She's been in the TBICU at UAB.

BROKENESS...Give Thanks?

Dear family friends lost their only son in a hunting accident.

LOSS...Give Thanks?

A dear friend has a young son not much older than my son. He was just diagnosed with leukemia.

SICKNESS...Give Thanks?

The first time I read The Hiding Place I was about 9 years old. I don't remember everything I thought about the story, I just remember being impacted by it.

A few years ago I bought my own copy and re-read it. I got to the chapter where Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, Betsie, are leading a secret Bible study in their barracks but their barracks become infested with fleas. Corrie is so frustrated and Betsie reminds her what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says. As Betsie is praying, giving thanks to God for the fleas Corrie says, "Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea." Betsie replied, " 'Give thanks in all circumstances. It doesn't say, 'in pleasant circumstances.' Fleas are part of this place where God has put us."

Come to find out the fleas were Divine Protection. Because the barracks were flea-infested the guards did not want to go in, therefore allowing their Bible study to continue. Corrie writes, "My mind rushed back to our fist hour in this place. I remembered Betsie's bowed head, remembered her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for."

Am I to give thanks for these things, God?! It's not easy. It doesn't feel right. Words of thanks feel like sand filling my cheeks. It feels like my heart is being ripped out. 

But maybe that's just it. Maybe my heart of stone is being ripped out and a heart of flesh is going in.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 36:25-26


Ann Voskamp recently tweeted: "We will give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of who He is."

Who is He?
-"God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." (Westminster Larger Catechism Q.7)

"...unchangeable in His goodness."
This doesn't feel good. But we don't give thanks because of how we feel...

God is good.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

For the Lord is good, his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:5

Romans 8:28 tells us, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good , for those who are called according to his purpose."

What is "good"? These things don't feel good.
What is their purpose?
What is my purpose?
-"To glorify God and enjoy him forever." (WLC Q.1)

If these things bring glory to God then dare I classify them as anything less than good?

So, despite how I feel, I give thanks. 
In all circumstances.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Your blog truly blesses my heart, Laura. To this one I too say Amen....even that "feels" hard.