In verse 18, Paul advises to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Note that he doesn’t say “give thanks for all circumstances.” Much has happened in 2023 for which we are not thankful. This has been the year of wars on multiple fronts, of a brutal winter and destructive summer storms. We have lost dear friends and family. Many are struggling with mental health, finances, or relationships.
We can, however, still find reasons to be grateful. We can be grateful for the ways communities have come together to support and sustain families who have been affected by illness, loss, or some sort of tragedy. We can be grateful for the ways technology has made it possible to remain connected with the people we care about. We can be grateful for the opportunity to re-center our lives on what really matters. We can be grateful for the sacrifices people are willing to make on behalf of the well-being of neighbors they may never meet.
Today, each time you witness or experience something good, offer a small prayer of thanks.