In Everything Give Thanks

God created us to bring Him glory. When God miraculously heals someone, He gets glory. When He gives joy, even without healing, to a quadriplegic, He gets glory. When He blesses someone with great wealth – from Job and Abraham to J. C. Penny , He gets the glory. When He provides for each daily need, He gets the glory.

It’s easy to give glory to God in the good times – when the miracles are obvious.

The Bible is full of miracles – like the time when He kept the oil from running out in I Kings 17:8-16 and when God blessed Solomon in II Chronicles 1:11-12.

When I was in college, I got a last minute opportunity to be a summer missionary. I had never heard of such a thing, but I wanted to try it. The deadline had passed, but there were still unclaimed openings.

I signed up and was accepted. That left me very little time to raise money for the trip, but God knew what He was doing. He brought in every last dime that I needed in time for the trip. God’s timing is amazing!

When God told us to move to Rhode Island, we had very little notice, yet amazingly, our house sold & closed just 2 weeks after putting it on the market!! Then He helped us out of a sticky situation by helping us find a very well cared for van that we could easily afford with just a 24 hour notice! Yes, God’s timing is perfect. He wanted us to go and He provided the way.

God is not limited by time, resources, or circumstances. He has proved time and again that He can do much with a small window of time. And in all these things God receives the glory. That’s easy!

It is not so easy to give God the glory He deserves in the tough times – when the miracles are not so obvious.

Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? ~Job 2:10b

Job certainly had a lot to be thankful for (1:2-3), at least for a while (1:13-19), but when the hard-times came, Job still trusted God and blessed his name (1:20-22).

How do you give thanks to God when He allows hard things to happen? Amazingly there always is a blessing hidden in there somewhere, and while seeking God for that blessing, you learn more about Him, and He uses you to bless others through your hard time.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  ~I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Fortunately, He promises His presence and peace when we are going through those not so easy times.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  ~John 14:27

In everything give thanks!

About a month ago on December 15, 2011, we found out that our youngest child, Thaddeus, has a terminal illness – Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy . In case you’ve never heard of it, DMD is a disease that affects the muscles. When a person has it, his muscles degenerate over time. Since the heart and diaphragm are muscles, the person with DMD usually dies from congestive heart failure or from not being able to breathe.

Thaddeus has no symptoms yet, but they usually start by the age of 5 when the muscles in his hips start showing their weakness. His future probably holds many falls, leg braces, muscle stretches, some minor surgeries, a wheelchair, and maybe even a ventilator.

This definitely is not an easy phase of our lives. While you never know how long any child will live, it is hard knowing ahead of time that your child most likely will not reach his 30th birthday.

But God’s timing and power are great in tough times too. Jesus accomplished more in three years than any of us will achieve in our 70. And God can do amazing things through Thaddeus in his short years.

My brother died of this same disease when he was just 15 years old. My mother was asked after he died, “Don’t you wish you’d never had him? Neither of you would have had to suffer.” Her answer was, “Absolutely not!!”

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.  
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

~Psalm 139:13-18

God created children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. While life is more difficult for them, God is able to use their lives to reach others. They can touch the lives of so many people in just 15 or 20 years!

God was not taken off-guard. He knew before Thaddeus was ever born that he had DMD. He chose to make Him that way, and I do not have the authority to ask Him why. I may never know.

But I do know this. I love Thaddeus dearly! To wish I had not given birth to him would be missing out on an amazing amount of sweetness and joy! I plan to cherish every moment I have with all my children. I will train them all to be godly men and women, to go into this world, passing God’s blessings on to as many people as possible!

I am sure more posts will follow on this topic, but for now, I will end with Blessings by Laura Story.

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6 thoughts on “In Everything Give Thanks

  1. Katie Strawn

    We will be praying for you and your family. You know as well as we do that God has already gone and prepared the way for you and He’ll be right beside you the whole time. Please keep us updated and let us know how we can be praying for you. Love ya girl!

    Reply
  2. lauren

    That is very touching. You and your brother are very wounderful people as i remember. God bless you and your family and bless Thaddeus with God’s word. Praying for yall

    Reply
  3. danielle

    Oh how this post resonated with my heart. My youngest son does not have a terminal condition; however, at seven months old he was diagnosed with catastrophic epilepsy that would completely change our lives. I know more about epilepsy, drug interactions and radical brain surgeries than I ever wanted to know…

    I love how you emphasize that God’s Glory isn’t a one-size fits all ending. Trevy will never be entirely Healed here. My heart is at Peace with that. But Trevy is an amazing adorable little kid. And I pray that God’s glory is reflected in our lives on this journey we never dreamed we’d be on.

    (((hugs)))

    I would spew more sappy but the kids are outside and it sounds like drama.

    Oh…I found you through FB. I clicked you link after reading a response to another homeschooling mommy on the RIGHT forum. I’m glad Jesus Led me here…

    Prayers…

    …danielle

    Reply

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