I CONFESS. I STOLE some of the following from my pastor’s (Tim Stevenson’s) series on Thanksgiving.

“DON’T WORRY about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” These are the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Christ-followers in Philippians Chapter 4 of The Maker’s Manual.

THIS IDEA of thanking God in all circumstances is a recurring theme in the Bible. “And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20). This doesn’t mean to feign some sappy “gladness” for the bad stuff that comes our way, but to rejoice IN the circumstances for the good outcomes they can bring. Tim told the story of a long-estranged friend who was drawn back to Tim and to God as he watched Tim go through the ordeal of having his leg amputated and his recovery. Personally, I’ve seen good come out of the “bad” of prostate cancer, various hardships, and even death.

AUTHOR AND SPEAKER Ravi Zacharias grew up in India. He tells of the weavers of beautiful saris who deftly blend the many colors of silk into intricate patterns. He calls God the Grand Weaver. Cory ten Boom, Holocaust survivor and strong Christian, would do needlework as she delivered her talks. Then she would hold up the back side of her needlework for her audience. It was a tangle of yarn with no apparent pattern. “This is the way our lives sometimes appear to us,” she would say. Then she would turn the cloth around and show the beautiful design she had created. “And this is how God sees our lives,” she would say.

AS FOR ME, I just want to do my best and trust the Grand Weaver with the rest. Happy Thanksgiving weekend.