“Thank you, God, when everything goes wrong.”
My hand froze on the refrigerator door, and I turned to look at my three-year-old niece.
I had just given her lunch and told her to say the blessing. Her prayer had started off as usual. “Thank you, God, for food. Thank you when I’m praying.” And then she said the line that took me off guard. “Thank you, God, when everything goes wrong.”
It seems a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Thanking God when things go wrong. But it struck me that my niece had it right.
You see, that day, several things were going wrong. My dad had been quite sick, and my mother was getting him ready to go to the doctor. But he was weak and kept falling. My mother was worried he’d end up going to the emergency room, and I was trying to help her and keep my nieces out of mischief at the same time. I’d put out one small fire then another would pop up. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break.
But with that simple prayer, my niece reminded me that God was there. Not only was God there, but His Word says that all things work together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Yet I think the most important reminder was that the bad times remind us of who God is. He’s faithful and loving and dependable. Whenever bad things come, we not only remember that we have to depend on God but that we CAN depend on Him.
That reminder stayed with me when Dad was admitted into the hospital. When he came home still a bit weak. Because I remembered that no matter what happened, God is in control.
So yes, we can thank God when everything goes wrong. Even though our first instinct might be to shake our fist at Him and demand He immediately make things better, we need to remember that He is in control. That the bad times don’t negate who He is, they prove Him.
This is an updated version of a post originally published on justjenniferpurcell.com.
Featured image by Amy Humphries