1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” For years I’ve read this and repeated the words like a mantra, a chant, a call to arms. But only recently did I see the equal weight of these three commands. Rejoice, pray, thank. Always, continually, all the time. They’re parallel terms, synonyms.
I can rejoice—rejoice in God’s thick brushstrokes on the ombré evening sky, rejoice in the soft words He speaks through a friend, rejoice in His down-to-the-penny provision. But I can’t rejoice without thanking Him, and I can’t thank Him without praying to Him. Each action depends on the other.
Dear Lord, thank you.
I’m glad we have a day set aside for giving thanks. It’s a standing reminder that we need to reflect and to appreciate. To snuggle on the couch with little ones who smile at the Macy’s parade; to taste the textures of pecan pies and the bite of cider; to hear the range of voices around the table, nobody saying anything profound but everybody wonderfully present.
And during all of the surrounding days, I must rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstance, because this is the will of God. He desires us to be amazed, honest, and open, and in this unending cycle of praise, we can’t help but see how He saturates every day with color and light. He is with us always, and I’m so, so thankful.