1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV): Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
When I arrived at a “special” unit at Fort Campbell, I really had no idea the impact that being a part of that unit would have on me, my family, and my wellbeing. I learned very quickly, that as the only chaplain in my unit, I would be required to be ready to support missions no matter when and no matter where. I had no backup. I was therefore available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no break.
Well, as you can imagine, after about a year I broke. I had to get away. Not too long after that my unit decided that they needed other chaplains to help with the mission.
I guess that is why when I read the above verses it is a bit overwhelming. These verses share the words “always,” “continually,” and “in all circumstances.” Based on when I have tried in the past, I can’t do that! I know that I will break if I try.
Yet, Paul uses those words and applies them to rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks. Paul leaves me no escape. He says “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
For me, the key is knowing that I truly cannot do those things on my own. The only way I can remain in God’s will in these areas is for me to focus on my vertical relationship with God. I must let go and let God be in charge. I must submit to the power of the Holy Spirit to allow me to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. I am not in control. God is in control… always, continually, and in all circumstances.
Prayer: Lord God, I love You. I know that I can break if I depend on myself to stay in Your will. Thank you for being on Your throne as I embrace the continualness of my relationship with You.