You Got To Be Kidding!

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

“Rejoice always, pray continually, Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).

     Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. In the past three weeks, several storms of events have made it very difficult for me to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances.

     Three weeks ago, my wife slipped and fell in the bathroom while I was driving my grandchildren to school. When I came home, she called me. When I saw those bumps next to her temple and the black bruise covering nearly the whole right side of her face, I rushed her to the ER. Last week my son was in a car accident as he drove his family up to Moab, Utah. Yesterday, I received a notification letter that I had applied for a credit card. But, I hadn’t! Some stranger used all my personal data including my social security number, birthday, cell phone number, etc. for the application. Driving down to Waco that morning and unloading the car at my daughter’s home, we forgot something! We drove back up to our home after a quick lunch. Driving time on Wednesday in total: 8 hours!

    Rejoice and give thanks. You got to be kidding! Would you? It’s been a difficult three weeks. In between rejoice and give thanks are the words, pray continually. That little phrase, pray continually, reflects the inner belief that answer to prayer is on the way and that God is fully sovereign in our affairs.

    My wife’s MRI came back as negative with no bleeding at all. Praise God! Ramona’s fall prompted me to install home security in our home so I can now see and talk to her when I am away. I needed to do that. We prayed for our son’s safety and God answered that prayer since no one was injured. The vehicle is still drivable. I’m thankful that I just didn’t throw away “junk” mail and that God led me to open and read it. The drive back up to Garland and back down to Waco was exhausting. I took an hour nap before driving back down. We had dinner together around 6:45 pm. They waited for us. It is God’s will for me and for us to rejoice and give thanks because He is carefully orchestrating the events in our lives. Prayer keeps us in tune with our Heavenly Father. Guess what was the topic in my Academy Hour? You guess it: Prayer.

    I don’t know what this month or this week has been like for you. Can we truly rejoice and give thanks for the “unexpected” events in our lives? Prayer helps us to have His divine perspective on our lives on Earth while remembering to focus on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Kingston Tong

November 26, 2023