A few hours before, I had shown the family camp speaker the book I was reading: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. We discussed the fact that many times we accept what we see as "good" things from God and then complain when we encounter "bad" things.
"Lord, help me to accept whatever you have allowed to happen.Give me the strength to praise you, no matter what."
A knock sounds at the door. "Come in."
My nephew enters the cabin. His face is flushed and he struggles to get the words out. "Auntie, there's been an accident." He gasps for breath. "I think everyone's O.K., but they're going to the hospital to get checked out."
Minutes later I gulp as my five family members stumble through the door, like dusty apparitions. Their faces are smudged with dirt. Clothes are torn and spattered with blood. There are tear trails down the sides of several faces. "We need you to take us to the hospital," my husband says.
A few minutes later we pass the remnants of the van they were in, then the tanker truck that hit the van and rolled it into the ditch. I hold my breath. I realize I have just witnessed a miracle. All nine occupants of the van are still alive. The worst injury is a broken leg. I think back to Ann's questions:
"What will I lose? Health? Comfort? Hope? Eventually, I am guaranteed to lose every earthly thing I have ever possessed...Who will I lose?...Am I prepared for that?..Does anyone whisper in the dead boy's house, 'God's grace'?The Apostle Paul urges, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB)
Today I am thankful I still have a husband and all five of my children. Would I still be thankful if I was a widow? If my children were killed? My husband is moving a bit slower these days - he has a broken rib. Would I still be thankful if he was an invalid as a result of the accident? Will I choose to give thanks? In everything?
|Ruth L. Snyder|
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