In Everything Give Thanks

Growing up, I had many questions about God than answers. I had heard so much about Him but I didn’t fully trust Him. To me, He sounded so distant and mysterious and probably a little impossible to please.

When I was in what must have been my second year in varsity, I joined a club whose mission was to show compassion and love to the disadvantaged or to community in general. It was a club formed by varsity students at my campus and the funds to finance the club’s activities would be contributed towards by each member. I liked the idea although I really didn’t have the finances to contribute towards the cause but I joined regardless. The first thing we did after I joined the club was probably a clean up campaign but the second is what has stuck with me to date. It was a visit to an orphanage.

Up to that point, I don’t think I had ever been to an orphanage before so I was quite keen on going. The plan for the visit was to go as a group with some groceries and cook a meal using those groceries, have that meal with the orphans at the orphanage and spend some time with them with music and games and just make them feel seen and loved. We all contributed $2 towards the groceries and it was just going to be probably enough for one meal as we were students after all and most of us barely had any money.

The day came and we went to the orphanage that was relatively close to our campus. When we got there, we were introduced to the children that stayed there and we also introduced ourselves and some of us started the preparations of making the meal as some stayed behind with the children and kept them entertained with games and music.

After finishing with the cooking, we surrendered the pots to the women managing the orphanage only for the pot of meat to go ‘missing’ after that. It was the most dramatic scenario as everyone tried to explain away a missing meat pot. I could tell by the demeanor of the children that this was not a rare occurrence. I was so grieved and overwhelmed with compassion. I could not believe that the pot of food we had brought would go ‘missing’ while we were still there. I began to wonder what the situation was like when there was no visitor present. It was just one of the most disheartening things I had ever seen. I wondered when last these children had had a good meal or meat in that place since whoever hid this pot was clearly past the normal good conscience and good behavior that everyone tends to present when there are visitors around.

For the first time, I could see how privileged I was that I had relatives willing to take care of me, shelter me and educate me. I was no different than they were or more deserving than they were. If anything, we were all orphans. I too could have grown up in a place like that. I had a new found appreciation for my life and a deep found gratitude to God that He had been so merciful to me.

Prior to this point, whenever I questioned God’s goodness or love for me, I had been so fixated on how I was an orphan, but I had no idea that there was a whole world of food that goes missing from the stove that he was shielding and had shielded me from all my life. Yes, my parents were gone and not coming back but I had family in my life that didn’t abandon me when my parents passed on and that was worth a lot of gratitude.

Psalm 136: 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Eventually, we all had to just accept that the pot of meat had indeed ‘gone missing’ and ate whatever was left with the children. We got to spend some more time with them after eating and doing the dishes. We were even shown where they slept before we left for campus. During our time there, there is one little boy who just clung to me and seemed to like and prefer me to the rest of the people there, for whatever reason, so I spent most of my time with that one little guy. I even took some pictures with him before leaving. I didn’t think much into it until later when I returned to campus that I got to look at those pictures. I could not believe my eyes! That little guy had such a striking resemblance to me, he looked like my sibling!

For the longest time I had wondered what my life would have been like if my parents had left behind a sibling for me to relate with. I had also previously heard that after me, my mother had been pregnant with a boy, although that pregnancy didn’t make it, unfortunately. And now, here I was with a picture of a little boy that looked almost exactly like me. It made me really sad to realize that there was nothing I could do for him or offer him that could wipe out that sadness that I could see in his eyes back at that orphanage. I knew that even just having spent the whole day with him was not enough, even providing meat that disappears was not enough. All I could do was acknowledge how kind God had been to me and how I had many blessings to count that could not be outweighed by the pain of being an orphan.

In life, at any given point in time, our difficult situations or circumstances always look or feel like the worst in the world. It always seems like others have it easier than we do. When we look at them, we tend to ask ourselves why they get to have it easy as we have it hard. This is seldom true. No one is exempt from challenges although some just sound like 1st world problems while some sound like a war zone in a third world country. For example, owning a successful business seems like having it easy, but building a business that succeeds and maintaining it’s success really isn’t. Of course, compared to lying on a bed lifeless in a comma it may seem like nothing but still…

I recently came across a video that had the caption ONE DAY, 24 HRS, 8 BILLION DIFFERENT DAYS and the video compiled different scenarios of what could have been happening to 8 billion people in the world within the same 24 hours. Some were wedding, some were soldiers at war, some were at a funeral, some were traveling, some where crying, some were laughing, some were sleeping, some celebrating a new baby, some holding on for dear life in hospital all within just one day! I thought that was so profound!

When you really think of it, so what if you are yet to get that job, so what if you are yet to get married, so what if you are yet to have the baby, so what if you are yet to receive whatever it is you need. Is it really the only thing happening in your life? This is not to be offensive or dismissive of your current desires, struggles and battles, I believe them to be very valid and I wholeheartedly hope you get what you are seeking as soon as yesterday and that you come out of that pain. My point, however, is do not walk around in life fixating on the one thing not working out and neglecting the 65 things that are actually working out.

I questioned God because I thought being an orphan when He could have done something to prevent it was unfair. Was it fair though for my aunt’s sons to sometimes forego new uniforms or the best meals so as to ensure I had varsity fees? How about that? Why did I not question God’s reliability on that? It really is short-sighted to fixate only on your problems and trivialize the good in your life.

Psalm 139: 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

As I conclude, I would like to just say learn to thank the Lord for the good things He does in your life. Praise the Lord that no one is hiding a pot of meat from you and claiming it disappeared so you cannot have the meat. And well, if someone is perhaps hiding the pot of meat from you, then praise the Lord that at least they forgot to make the pot of rice disappear too. When the challenges sometimes seem to be too much and your faith is shaken and your perspective is blurred by those challenges and you are blinded from seeing the good in your life, then praise God because He is God. That in itself is enough reason to thank Him.

Psalm 34:1-10 I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. 2 I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. 3 Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. 4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. 7 For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
9 Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father we thank you that you are a good Father and that all your ways are good. We choose to fix our eyes on you and make You the subject of our adoration and love. We choose to take heart for You have overcome the world whenever we walk through the valleys of life. Many are your benefits that you load us with daily, some we will never truly be aware of and for that we are thankful. We surrender our heavy burdens to you and exchange them for ones that are light. May You have the glory when our challenges eventually work out for our good after all. Strengthen our feeble knees whenever we are close to giving up on you. Hear us when we are in trouble and call upon Your name seeking rescuing. We thank you in advance for resounding victory to all the challenges we might face in the future and to some we are even facing now. You deserve our worship and praise so we give it to you today. Worthy are You to receive honor, and glory and power forever and forever, our Everlasting King. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Delsha Rufaro Lydia
Delsha Rufaro Lydia
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This is very profound.
So many times we forget the blessings and focus on what has not yet manifested.
Thank you for this reminder my love.

Makanakamwari Mangava

Amen. Glory to God he’s worth all the honour and glory! One day 24 for hours 8 billion different lives wow that got to me! Thank you so much for the powerful blog sis💜

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