The saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What exactly does that mean? It means that beauty is more than skin deep. It looks beyond the world’s surface view of things, seeking to look beyond the “obvious” external realities, creating a deeper and more profound understanding of beauty. This caused me to consider how I approach being thankful.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1st Thessalonians 5:16-18
I am aware that this time of year, traditionally, the topic of thanks giving is often the topic of the lesson preached: Today will be no exception. Recent events have caused me to think about this idea of “in everything give thanks.” Everything??? The ETRV says, “Give thanks to God at all times.” No matter what??? This idea makes me understand why the transformation of the mind is so important, because it is then, and only then, that we may “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2) is for us.
And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes,
and behold, the Egyptians marched after them.
Even though freedom was given to them. Even though God revealed Himself as a “pillar of cloud” during the day and a “pillar of fire” by night (Exodus 13:21), their perceived reality when they saw the Egyptian war machine approaching, blurred even the very presence of Jehovah. A similar situation occurred after the spies came back from checking out the promise land. Once again, their perceived reality hindered them from seeing God at work. They were so out of focus that they said, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt” (Numbers 14:4). Let’s go back to bondage.
Okay, you may be asking yourself, “When is he going to talk about thankfulness?” In truth, I believe I have been, only from a different angle. You see, thankfulness is in the eyes of the beholder. How we see life, along with its circumstances, influences our ability to be thankful. More importantly, I believe how we see God, in life and circumstances, influences thankfulness. Even when the enemy seems close and the odds are seemingly stacked against us, if we see Him in it, there is always a reason to be thankful. What do you think?