Thursday, December 1, 2011

Give Thanks--"In" is not "For"

Giving thanks in surgery is one of those hard things that the Apostle Paul tells us to do when he writes "Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks." (1 Thess 5:16-18 NET Bible)

This does not mean to give thanks "for" surgery--I mean who really wants to have surgery? That means that there is something seriously (and  mean, seriously) wrong with the body. It is never a good thing o have to cut the body open and start removing stuff or repairing what's on the inside .

But, giving thanks "in" the surgery helps us to focus not on the bad that is unfolding, but the good surrounding the bad. While we are giving thanks in the surgery we are giving thanks for the skilled medical team, families, and friends. We also giving thanks for the prayers and the support and the speedy recovery from a successful surgery. And not to be forgotten, give thanks for the dreams that the surgery may be saving or restoring!

It is a different mindset. Focus on blessings in the middle of adversity and strife.

Sounds easy? No, not really, it is more like doing the impossible sometimes.

Why am I writing this today?

Because this morning (and much of yesterday) I am giving thanks for the prayer warriors who surround my nephew as he faced another surgery in his fight against cancer. I am giving thanks for the friends and the family supporting him. I am giving thanks for a good prognosis.I am giving thanks that Chris could be there with him to help support him and his Mom in person.

I, amazingly, talked to him yesterday afternoon after his surgery--and mind you this was surgery in his chest on one of his lungs. I give thanks for being able to talk to him and to hear his voice and hear the thanks in his voice for being able to talk to me and feel as well as he was feeling despite knowing that there are hard times ahead.

The real blessing of giving thanks "in" something is to be able to see around the circumstances of the now and to appreciate the "for's" that are everywhere shaping the tomorrow.

-- Bob Doan, Eldridge, MD
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