Monday, August 27, 2012

Giving Thanks Anyway

Romans 8:28
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
Sooner or later I think we all end up in a situation that doesn't make sense and doesn't seem to be working for our good nor for anyone else's. For me one of those situations has been a celiac diagnosis. It has affected whether I get together with people and when and where several times over. I've missed out on celebrations because I just can't enter into them in the same way when the celebration is a dinner at a restaurant without a single food item I can eat. I've brought my own food along to everything from casual picnic dinners to formal weddings. I've had to carefully decline food that others have offered me because I'm not quite certain they have been as careful to keep away all gluten as is really necessary for me. When we face one of these situations it is very easy to focus on the self-pity, wondering even why God would not include us in His promise of Rom 8:28. Yet as normal as the self-pity is, we can't stay there. We need to look beyond it to the hidden blessings. We need to find reasons to thank the Lord in the midst of our difficult circumstances.
Although I still struggle regularly, I have found blessings that probably would not have come to me without my need to eat a strict gluten-free diet. I've had opportunities to serve food for other people by my increased awareness of food allergies. I've had conversations that would not have taken place without it coming to someone's attention that I can't eat wheat (and rye, barley, and oats, but wheat is the most prominent of the four). Friends who know about my food restrictions have been able to use those conversation starters with other acquaintances ("Oh, you can't eat gluten? I have a friend..."). I can't stack up the value I've gained from this cross against the trouble it's caused me; from where I stand now it might look dismally smaller, but only God sees from a true perspective. I have to focus on thanksgiving, whether I feel like it or not. Why?

  1. Because Christ calls me to be cheerful and thankful in all circumstances: 1 Th 5:18.
  2. Because in the end it will work together with other circumstances in my life for my own good: Rom 8:28.
  3. Because God is trustworthy and sees our lives from a true perspective while we see from a faulty one.

1 comment:

  1. I do sometimes wonder why I have one child out of three with so many food allergies. Why did he get hit with all of them? Why hasn't he outgrown them? Been healed of them? But it has made me much more aware of how to serve others with allergies, to come up with alternatives for all those baked goods. I also pray that it is forming him into a better man as he deals with daily sacrifices of not eating the foods that others are around him.