In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

I have been thinking a lot about the past lately.  Memories of Danni float through my mind, bringing tears, laughter and thankfulness for the years she dedicated to loving our family.

I cherish the thoughts of the Christmas tree farm visits where she would run free and her running through the snow at the cemetery with the deer quietly watching nearby.  Memories of Christmas morning, holding her stocking while she took one thing out in her mouth, retreated up the stairs by herself to enjoy her toy or treat, then quietly returning to repeat the process till her stocking was empty.  Frustrated memories of Danni sitting as still as a statue in the car, while we pulled and pushed as she refused to meet our eyes.  We would give in and drive her around the block.  Licking us in thanks, Danni would settle in the seat.  Arriving home, she would hop out of the car, satisfied with our compromise.

Danni is our past but always present in our hearts and I am thankful.  As much as I hate to say it, Burt is our present and our future. I am trying to be thankful. We have a lot of work to do on present and future Burt.

I read a Thanksgiving devotional using I Thessalonians 5:18 as the scripture.  It is a popular verse at Thanksgiving.  It simply states that in everything give thanks for that is God’s will for you.  I have read many devotions on this verse and listened to many sermons.  Some concentrated on what is God’s will for you?  To give thanks.  Others urged us to be thankful always.  This one pointed out the word in.  In everything give thanks, not for everything.  In your recuperation, give thanks, not necessarily for your recuperation.  In your illness, give thanks.  In the death of your pet and trying to live through the new pet, give thanks.  In the loss of your marriage or the teenage years of your children, give thanks.  For it, no, but in it, yes.

I don’t know what future Thanksgivings look like but I’m sure there will be many things I will be thankful for but also many things I must be thankful in.  Life is full of mountains and valleys, the good times, the bad times and the in between times.  God is there.  Whatever season of thanksgiving you are in, He is here and that is our reason to give thanks in everything.





  1. Thank you. I am looking for a devotional to help me over the loss of my dog. This verse has always been one of my favorites. I know God is holding me by my hand thru this journey, but the pain and difficulty is so much more than I imagined. Thank you for these words of encouragement.


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