A spiritual insight from Focus on the Family leadership
The evening before Thanksgiving, my wife, Kellie, and I heard our water sensor trigger an alarm in the basement. I assumed the furnace humidifier had overflowed. As our children headed to bed, I went downstairs to check.
The furnace looked fine. But the carpet in the toy area was wet, and I saw water trickling down the wall. After Kellie and I soaked up the mess with towels, I called one plumber after another. I’d almost given up for the night when someone agreed to help us the following day.
What had happened
That evening I felt so many emotions—panic and the dread of days without running water, along with the joy of finding a plumber who was willing to work the holiday. On Thanksgiving morning, the plumber showed me a section of copper pipe behind a half bath on our main floor. A baseboard nail had been driven into the pipe, most likely decades earlier.
The nail had slightly dislodged and no longer plugged its hole. Water hissed from the tiny opening, ran down the pipe between the walls and pooled in the basement. But that wasn’t all. Beneath the bathroom floorboards, we found black mold.
When our initial reactions faded, Kellie and I reflected on all we had to be thankful for: The leak was found before bedtime, not at 3 a.m. I was home and not on a work trip. A plumber was available on a holiday. And the leak alerted us to the existence of mold.
As a couple, we chose to take 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to heart: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Since that day, I haven’t always remembered to be thankful in all things. But as I make an effort to do better, I invite you to join me. This Thanksgiving let’s express our gratitude to God for all He’s done for us and all He’s given us, regardless of our circumstances. After all, gratitude isn’t just an emotion reserved for the pleasant things in life; it’s a decision.
© 2021 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. This article first appeared in the October/November 2021 issue of Focus on the Family magazine as “Give Thanks in All Circumstances.”