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In All Things Give Thanks

There was once a wealthy farmer. He had abundant, fertile lands, a strong son, and beautiful daughters.

One day his son found a herd of wild horses. He caught the horses, and brought them to his father. They were handsome, sturdy, and filled with a vibrant life force.

The local villagers, who believed these horses would bring the farmer great wealth, said to the man, “You are very blessed, very blessed indeed!”

The farmer said “we’ll see.”

The farmer’s son worked to break and train the horses, but one of the horses got the best of him, and he fell off the wild beast and broke his leg.

When the local villagers learned of this, they knew that the strong young son would not be able to help out on the farm. They said to the farmer, “This is terrible news, terrible news indeed!”

The farmer said “we’ll see.”

Not long after that, the king’s soldiers rode through the village. It was required that all healthy, strong young men join them as they rode off to battle. However, because of his broken leg, the farmer’s son was not able to join them.

The villagers, who believed that the son was quite lucky to avoid going off to fight, said to the farmer “You are very blessed, very blessed indeed!”

The farmer said “we’ll see.”

The tale of the blessed farmer is a story about receiving blessings out of so called negative events. You get laid off from a job, only to find a better one. You go through a difficult divorce to find that you are happier than you’ve ever been. You heal from an illness to support others in a similar situation.

However, there are some tragic events that will never seem to carry a blessing. Experiencing the loss of a loved one or a debilitating disease. Being the victim of a crime, war, terrorism or abuse. It just seems impossible to recover from some things.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul was not saying to give thanks for the bad stuff, but to give thanks even though bad things happen.

In 1980 a mother grieved the loss of her daughter who had been killed by a drunk driver. She inspired a small group of mothers who had also suffered similar losses, and they started the organization M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers).

In 1996 the Amber Alert, an automated alert notification system to alert local authorities and the news media of abducted and missing children, was launched. The family of nine year old Amber Hagerman, a girl who’d been abducted earlier that year, was the driving force behind this system.

Both of these organizations came in to being because of the heartbreak suffered by regular people who refused to let it destroy their lives. And they not only refused to let it destroy them, they were determined that these forces would never hurt anyone else.

We don’t give thanks for the bad things that happen; we give thanks in spite of them to keep ourselves from being swallowed up by a black hole of despair. To give thanks even though life has dealt some painful blows is to refuse to allow those terrible circumstances to control and direct a life that still has beauty to create, goodness to share and hope to give.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Deanna Joseph. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Deanna Joseph. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Yvonnie DuBose for details.

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