Being Thankful

I was sitting in my living room watching TV, when all the electricity went out. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. My first response did not include thinking happy thoughts. There are so many blessings in my life that, at times, I take for granted. In an instant, as I realized the possibilities, several thoughts flooded my mind.  Our refrigerator is off. We have no heat. I should have charged my cell phone last night. I only have one hour more of daylight. Where is my flashlight?  It’s a good thing I bought two candleholders yesterday.

It’s amazing how my thoughts changed in an instant. I was definitely more focused and making a plan in case we were without power for an extended time.

Suddenly my mind shifted to my first visit to Beijing, China. Dick and I had a difficult time finding an available hotel because of a cultural holiday. Finally, we located a taxi that drove us to the outskirts of the city and dropped us off at an isolated hotel. We were so tired from our 12 hour train ride; we were just relieved to find a room.  We were almost finished with the check-in when the electricity went out. The worker at the registration desk didn’t seem surprised. He reached into a drawer, selected a candle and lit it.  He motioned to us as he came around the counter, heading towards the hall. We followed him down the long hallway, pulling our luggage behind us.  He opened the door, walked into the room ahead of us allowing the candle to light our way. The flame was dim, but burning. He tipped the candle sideways to allow the wax to drip on a small white desk. Then, much to my surprise, he stuck the bottom of the candle into the melted wax and walked out of our room, shutting the door behind him. There were chairs on both sides of the desk.  It was so dark in the room, we felt paralyzed. We sat in the chairs in silence. Then we looked over at each other and burst out laughing and said, “Welcome to Beijing!”

No matter our circumstances, we can always find something in which to be thankful. As I think back, I am thankful our room was on the first floor, we were not out on the street sitting on our luggage, and we were safe and warm. As for last week, as I was pondering the worst case scenario, I can’t say I was thanking God. But when the lights came back on, I was so thankful that I had been forced to sit, reflect and write this blog!!

I am learning. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances…”