I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Tired. Cranky. Summer sinus cold. Struggling to find something to be grateful for. John Ortburg, in his book Soul Keeping, suggests thinking of something you are thankful for before you get out of bed each day. He calls this “practicing gratitude”. This particular day, I wasn’t practicing gratitude very well.

Then, I remembered I had been memorizing 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This has got to be THE ONE scripture that is impossible to do! How can I rejoice always, pray without ceasing and always give thanks?? Can it be done??

Silently I climbed out of bed to dig deeper into God’s word. Settling into my favorite chair, cup of coffee in hand and favorite crocheted afghan around my legs, I began to study the scriptures.

Rejoice. To delight (charm, enchant, captivate) in God’s grace. To be captivated with God’s grace.

Always. Pray. Talk to God. Without ceasing. Don’t stop!

Give thanks. Eucharisteo, literally thankful for God’s good grace. In everything. All circumstances, good or bad.

God’s will. His preferred will. Pondering this information, I plucked at a loose thread on the afghan. Coming out of my reverie of rejoicing always, I noticed the beautiful stitches. They were intricately entwined. I knew if I pulled the loose piece of yard, it wouldn’t come out, because the threads were so tightly woven together.

Then I realized God’s word – especially 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – were like the yarn in my afghan. Interwoven. I can’t rejoice always, without praying and giving thanks. I can’t pray without ceasing unless I rejoice and am thankful in all circumstances. These three verses were knit together as tightly as my afghan.

I studied the crocheted afghan closely. It looked like it was made with one single thread of yard. Each stitch built on the single thread until a full afghan was created. One thread also holds these three verses together: In Christ Jesus. Without Christ in me, I can’t rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in everything.

And just as each stitch in the afghan builds on one thread, each of these scriptures builds on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ.

I wrapped the afghan around me, feeling safe and content in its warmth. I will wrap God’s word around me feeling safe and joyful as I go about my day, rejoicing, praying and giving thanks in all my circumstances!

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