Sometimes, the stuff we are thankful for is not the super fun stuff.
When I was working at a Bible School in Austria, the head of my Bible School, Hans Peter Royer, always had the same response to a difficult situations. His response? "Have you thanked God yet?!"
It seemed like something good to say, but how far did he take it? I wondered.
I found out. Some of the other staff shared with me how there had been a huge mistake recently on a building site at the Bible School. It had necessitated tearing up an entire building foundation, and starting over. THOUSANDS and thousands of dollars wasted, days and days of work wasted. Hans Peter's response? "Have you thanked God yet?"
That attitude and resolve to always thank God regardless of circumstances has stuck with me for almost 2 decades now. And it helps me now as I look at our travel map.
And the map doesn't even include the two Canadian Provinces we also stayed in. We had no idea we would travel to so many places. Our kids had hardly lived in the US until this year...but they are making up for lost time.
It was a time to travel around and share what we do in the Philippines, and raise awareness and financial support for the ministry over there.
The trip? 20,000 miles of deputation--- visiting many friends, relatives and churches. The result? Our financial support actually went DOWN during our 4-oil-change sojourn...
We received some new support, and lost others.
What does that mean? It means that, just like my old boss at Bible School, we have the chance to say to each other, "Have you thanked God yet?!?"
And then, to do it. Does life always make sense? No. Does it have to? No.
But, is God always faithful? Yes.
And as it says in I Thessalonians 5:18--- "in everything give thanks!" I checked the original Greek for what "everything" actually means, and apparently, it means: "everything."
So, until further notice, we are choosing to thank God in all situations. Even when foundations need to be bulldozed, life doesn't make sense, and the world seems to spin the wrong way--- God still is in control---so we say "thank you," and we know that when we can't understand, we choose to hold the hand of the one who continues to hold the world in his other hand.