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I never think about what I eat killing me!  Okay, I know some of you just said, “You really should think about it with your girth!”  Thank you for your quick wit!  What I meant is that I don’t think about it killing me instantly!  I have sinus allergies but no food allergies.  I hurt for the many people that must guard diligently what they are about to put into their mouths in a restaurant or a group eating event away from their home environment.  So many are affected by gluten intolerance, shell fish allergies, after a certain tick bite—no red meat ever, and a host of other maladies that most of us never had to face.

Knowing that food could kill without being highly vigilant of what is eaten would make saying a blessing over a meal “fervent and effectual prayer”. Praying would not be perfunctory but personal, passionate, and persistent!  Giving thanks for the meal might even come “after eating” when it is clear that the food was not contaminated with any deadly substance that would cause a person’s body to shut down.

My daughter is allergic to peanuts. Her sensitivity is so acute that eating even the tiniest fragment of a peanut threatens her life. As a result, we scrutinize food package labels. We carry a pre-filled syringe of medicine (to treat allergic reactions) wherever we go. And, when we eat out, we call ahead and quiz the wait staff about the restaurant’s menu items.

Despite these precautions, I still feel concerned—both for her current safety and for her future safety. This situation is not something I would naturally be thankful about. Yet, God’s Word challenges: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18). There’s no getting around it. God wants us to pray with thanksgiving when the future is uncertain, when heartbreak hits, and when shortfalls come.

It’s hard to be grateful in difficulties, but it’s not impossible. Daniel “prayed and gave thanks” (Dan. 6:10), knowing that his life was in danger. Jonah called out “with the voice of thanksgiving” (Jonah 2:9) while inside a fish! These examples, coupled with God’s promise that He will work all things together for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28), can inspire us to be thankful in all things.

 Thanks for the roses by the wayside,

Thanks for the thorns their stems contain.

Thanks for homes and thanks for firesides

Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!  (HULTMAN).

In all circumstances, we can give thanks that God has not left us on our own. (Jennifer Benson Schuldt).

Scriptures increase our courage when we are in difficult circumstances….

2 Thess.3:3 – But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Prov.2:11Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.