Why thank God in all circumstances?

Several years ago a pastor said to me, “Thank God for everything, no matter what the situation is.”

“What is he talking about?” I thought. “I’m not going to thank God for becoming blind, and for everything I suffered. He definitely doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

I know, quite presumptious. I still feel embarrassed when I think of this conversation.

I answered, “I don’t think you understand what you’re saying to me. I don’t think God would ask me to thank him for becoming blind.”

He said, “Yes, I believe he does.”

By now I didn’t only feel offended, I was spitting mad.

I said, “Well, have you suffered a trauma in your life?”

Patiently he answered, “Yes I have. I lost both my parents.”

I thought, “they probably were old. It’s not the same as losing your sight as a six years old, and being abandoned by your parents.”

As I said, I feel quite embarrassed recalling this conversation. I was so arrogant in my response out of hurt and pain. I was convinced he was wrong, and I felt hurt by what he said. It took me years to understand what he meant.

I discovered it’s all about the kind of relationship I have with the Lord. An intimate relationship with him produces a heart of gratitude and trust, knowing God always has the best in mind for me. I know he loves me, never will abandon me, and that his thoughts over me are always thoughts of life and goodness. His character never changes. He will always be, who he has shown himself to be. Grounded in this truth and his love, I can thank him in all circumstances. My gratitude is not dependent on the situation, but rather from knowing who God is. No matter the circumstance: blindness, lost parents, or Coronavirus, he is the same today as he was yesterday, and he is faithful to his promises.

When we went in lockdown because of the Coronavirus, I struggled with depression the first 5-6 weeks. Living alone and not even being able to do grocery shopping, made my world very small and lonely. Until I realized I was trying to deal with this situation on my own. Yet God was waiting for me to allow him to face it together with me. My perspective changed. I did not feel depressed anymore, even though the lockdown still was on roll.

So yes, painful, difficult things may occur in life, but I know I don’t have to face it alone. God is in the midst of it with me.