In Everything Give Thanks

by DeeDee Winter


In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  I Thes. 5:18


What a joy Paul’s words are! We love giving thanks before a meal; thanks for a victory won; thanks for a beautiful and healthy baby born; thanks for a sunny day; thanks for love; thanks for much needed rain; thanks for friendship. We can think of a thousand blessings in which we can rejoice with God.


But last summer I was challenged in another way to give thanks. Our daughter and only child, who had recently been married, became extremely ill. For three weeks the doctors could not find what was wrong with her. She was in constant and severe pain with a high fever. Unable to eat she lost 20% of her body weight and I knew I was watching her die before my eyes.


Finally a test showed a partial blockage in her intestine. She was hospitalized and put on intravenous feedings to build her up enough for surgery. The day before surgery we were told that in all probability she had ovarian and pancreatic cancer. If this were true, in all probability it would mean a very short life for her…a year or two, at the most.


When I came home that evening a friend from out of state called for an update on Kim. I told her the prognosis and then found myself saying that God’s way…whatever it was…would be PERFECT.


In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


The next day halfway through the surgery one surgeon came out and told us they had to remove a foot of her small intestine…but there was no cancer. The second surgeon was then going to see what her female organs held. Afterwards he came out and said he had to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes due to the infection and endometriosis…but there was no cancer!


Our joy was overwhelming…and yet overshadowed by the loss of her ability to ever have a child and for us to have a grandchild. But in all of this I do know that His way is PERFECT. If Kim had had cancer His same PERFECT way would have been true.


Each of us has times of suffering. The missionary, Norman Grubb, once gave a talk on suffering. He said that suffering was anything we do not like.  But God says that in everything give thanks for these things are His will for us. What hard things are you facing in your life? Begin by thanking God for them. Pay no attention to how you feel, but rest in the fact that God is fully in control of your circumstances and means them for good for you and those you love.  So………


In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning YOU!