Giving Thanks In ~Joey Weed

Joey Weed is a ROOM Missionary serving communities around San Pedro Sula, Honduras alongside his wife, Kellie, and their son, Connor.  The Weeds have served in all facets of ROOM’s ministry and are very excited about working with a church in the bordos (Honduran slums) to advance their congregation’s orphan prevention initiatives.  Joey is passionate about relationship-based ministry mirroring the relationship Jesus wants with all of us.  Often, these relationships are built with children and families who are deeply hurting.  Joey’s blog below shares wisdom about what thankfulness means in difficult times. 

Sometimes it’s hard to give thanks in tough situations. We’re all faced with things that can be hard to understand or handle. However, God’s word tells us that we should give thanks in all things and in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But how do you do that in death, in suffering or in poverty? In a world so full of evil, how do we have thankful hearts in every situation?

This has been one of the toughest things for me to grasp. I remember a time in my life that if I wasn’t doing something that was for me, I wasn’t happy. Life was all about me and what I wanted, but when I surrendered my life to God, that changed. I began to find joy in serving others. I began to see the beauty in giving. Even when I was giving to the point that I was without, I could still rest with joy in my heart because I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do. Even then, I still don’t feel that I completely grasped what this verse was saying.

Yes it’s good to help others and yes it’s good to give to others, but what about those moments when there seems to be no good in a situation? How are we supposed to give thanks in these moments? Moments when you know there are children who won’t eat today. Moments when you see children the same age as your child on the street begging with no shoes on his/her feet. Moments where a mother is holding her sick child on the side of the road asking for money because she can’t afford the medicine to make them healthy. Moments when an innocent child witnesses a life being taken and they’re expected to be OK with it because, hey, that’s how things go. Moments that a child wakes up feeling like there is no hope because of loneliness, fear, hunger and feeling unimportant.

How are we to give thanks in these situations? Why would we even want to thank God for the suffering of a little child?

I’ve realized that I missed the point here. It’s not about giving thanks “for” every circumstance. It’s about giving thanks “in” every circumstance. When my heart aches for that little boy begging for money to eat, I can “give thanks” for the opportunity to know them and to love them. I can pray for God’s comfort and peace to rest on them and “give thanks” because I know and trust that He hears me. I can “give thanks” for their precious life and ask that He would draw them close to Him.

I can “give thanks” for the opportunity for someone to be a light in the midst of their darkness.  I know that through trials and hard times, God can be glorified. It’s only in our weakness that His strength is evident. So I’m not thankful that these children suffer, but I’m thankful that God loves them and that He brought us here to be a part of His sovereign plan. I’m thankful that in their difficult times, He prompts others to love and care. It takes a willing heart to make a difference in someone else’s life, and we’ve had the opportunity to know and learn from some of the most amazing people willing to be that difference. We can’t directly contact every person and make a difference, but we can make a difference in every person we come in direct contact with.

We’ve all been called to love and care for others. Galatians 6:2 tells us we’re to carry one another’s burdens and that by doing this, we’re fulfilling the law of Christ.
Joey blog 6
What can you do to carry someone else’s burdens? Will you ask the Lord to soften your heart in this? Can you commit to praying for ROOM’s ministry every day? Maybe a specific child or need? Is God leading you to give? Is He telling you to go? What are you willing to invest to make a difference?

 

To learn more about what Reach Out Orphanage Ministries is doing in the lives of hurting children, like those Joey mentions, please visit our website.  To make a financial contribution to ROOM’s ministry, visit our secure donation site.

 

To learn more about the Weed family missionaries and to support their family directly please visit Support The Weeds in Honduras

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