Many years ago, Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible scholar, was robbed of his wallet. Knowing that the Scriptures teach us to give thanks in everything (I Thess. 5:18), he meditated on this incident and recorded in his diary the following:
“Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
There is power released in our lives when we give thanks in all things. We are not instructed to give thanks “for” all things, but to give thanks “in” all things. There is always something we can give thanks for. Giving thanks keeps our focus on the Lord, instead of on our problems and circumstances. Regardless of what we are facing today, let’s choose to obey the Scriptures and give thanks.
Coincidental entry for me. I sat in jury duty Monday thinking about the last time I was in a courtroom. At 21, I was a victim of aggravated assault with a gun. Scary moment, having a loaded .357 placed to your forehead. Ironically, I had a duffle of dirty laundry, keys to a 30 year-old car (’67 LeMans) that no one else knew how to start, and an empty wallet. So, the robbers didn’t get anything from me, and they were caught. Poor choice…mugging a college kid with no money, who happened to be a sprinter and police officer’s son. I raced to the police station and gave a description of the “men” (HS kids). High speed chase ensued, and I was brought to the scene to ID the car/culprets. I mention those details to paint the picture. As I stared at the four men, I forgave them, but, later, in reflection, I initially went through some anger struggles. However, I found peace quickly by being thankful I was allowed to walk away from the incident unharmed. I sought God’s guidance, and through this conversation, I felt the anger was too strong to ignore, so channeling it might be best. I was a sprinter in college, so I used the energy in my race that Friday night at University of Delaware. I ended up breaking a school record in the 500m. God reminded me of the need to “move forward” quickly. I truly felt God with me during the whole ordeal. Despite the scary moments, I always felt protected by God. I am truly thankful, and I ask God to help me sort through the daily minutia to focus on the truly important ideas of family, love, health, and living in God’s ways.