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I Thessalonians 5:18 / ESV


Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.



I was putting some things away in my bedroom closet over the weekend and came across an old purse I hadn’t used in a while. When I opened it up, laying just inside was a five-dollar bill. I pulled it out and placed it on my nightstand, thinking I could use it for a cup of coffee on my drive to work on Monday. It wasn’t but just a few seconds later, my mind went back to a time in my life, not all that long ago, when finding an unexpected five dollars would have meant a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread for my children that I otherwise may not have been able to afford. Every penny was accounted for, so an extra five bucks would have provided some relief to my very tight budget. During the week, I could be found visiting the Spanish markets collecting free newspapers that contained coupon inserts, and Tuesday evenings were spent scouring through grocery ads for the best sales. Strategizing how to get the most for my money by combining sales with coupons consumed my time. Knowing the patterns for when certain items would go on sale became second nature and weekends spent driving from store to store was the norm. I learned how to buy things before I needed them and very seldom paid for items like toothpaste, soap and deodorant because I had the system down to a science. It was pretty incredible how far the dollars would stretch. There wasn’t room for playing favorites to certain brands. It was about survival and settling for what was within my means. Rarely could I purchase the things I wanted because it took everything I had to get the things I needed.


As the memories of the past raced through my mind, the emotions came flooding in. I was humbled. All I could do was stare at the five-dollar bill and give thanks. Thanks to a sustaining God who kept us fed, clothed and housed on a salary that was hardly enough for one person, let alone three. Thanks to a healing God who kept us in good health during a time when health insurance was an unattainable luxury. Thanks to a merciful God who allowed our low-end vehicle to run flawlessly without a single issue until it drove its last mile. Thanks to a comforting God who carried me through the toughest times of my life while raising two children alone.


It took me some time to regain my composure as I was reminded of so much in just a few short moments. During the difficult seasons, it’s so easy to shift to autopilot just to survive, as if we’re in it alone. Once the season is over, the memory of it fades and we move on to the next.


I’m so thankful for the gentle reminder the other day. Who knew that a simple, five-dollar bill forgotten inside my wallet could tell such a story of a God who is faithful and keeps His word? The scriptures instruct us to give thanks in all circumstances. A thankful and grateful heart for how God provided and kept us in the hard times makes way for compassion toward others who are experiencing the same. It allows us to recognize someone else’s need and provides an opportunity for extending generosity, compassion and brotherly love. A spirit of thanks keeps us humble and positions us to reflect and realize the magnitude of what God has truly done for us.


 


I Thessalonians 5:18 / ESV

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


James 1:17 / ESV

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.


Ephesians 5:20-21 / ESV

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.


Colossians 3:17 / ESV

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.





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